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2-hour local police chase ends after bold maneuver by sheriff (VIDEO)

January 12, 2018 – Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish successfully administered a Pursuit Intervention Technique maneuver, bringing an end to the chase that originated in Excelsior Springs on Tuesday, Jan. 2 and lasted almost two hours.

According to probable cause statement provided by Clinton County Missouri Sheriff, multiple spike strip deployments, road blocks, and ultimately the PIT maneuver ended the low speed chase involving two suspects who fled from Excelsior Springs Police Department after they attempted shoplifting at Walmart.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 2, a probable cause statement released by Clay County stated that ESPD was alerted by Excelsior Springs Walmart security of two suspicious males who were possibly shoplifting at the store. Additionally, a grey Chevrolet truck, driven by Sarah B. Downs, 35, was waiting outside of an emergency exit door while the two male subjects were inside shopping.

Ryan A. Smith, 27, placed electronics merchandise including speakers, computers and headphones in a shopping cart and concealed the items with clothing.

In a second shopping cart, Smith helped Roy C. Proctor Jr., 44, load a 55-inch Samsung television into a cart containing additional smaller electronics, a duffel bag and pet supplies. The two males continued walking throughout the store, periodically meeting up, and then converged at the emergency exit door where Downs was waiting outside in the getaway vehicle.

Roy C. Proctor Jr.

Roy C. Proctor Jr.

ESPD Detective Haggard said that during the attempted shoplifting, Smith abandoned the shopping cart that he had filled, exited the store through the pharmacy doors and entered the vehicle driven by Downs.

When Proctor attempted to open the emergency exit, he set off the alarm, and was quickly intercepted by Walmart security. Proctor agreed to walk to the office with the Walmart security associate, but upon nearing the pharmacy exit, ran on foot out the doors and into the waiting vehicle.

Sgt. Lewis attempted to stop the vehicle at gunpoint but Downs drove around the patrol unit and fled the area. Downs took police on a low speed chase throughout downtown Excelsior Springs, as originally reported in the Friday, Jan. 5 issue of The Standard.

RELATED: Shoplifting leads to chase, three suspects arrested

According to a report released by ESPD, Lewis and other officers followed the vehicle driven by Downs throughout Excelsior, until the truck drove off the road and into a field at the intersection of Wornall Rd. and Lodwick Lane.
Proctor, the rear seat passenger, exited the vehicle and fled into a wooded area near the field on foot. Proctor was quickly apprehended and taken into custody by ESPD.

Downs proceeded to drive through the field, eventually returning to the roadway and traveling north on Hwy. 69 outside city limits. ESPD officers, in conjunction with Clay County Sheriff’s Office, continued to the pursuit until Downs reached Clinton County and Clinton County deputies took over.

Sarah B. Downs

Sarah B. Downs

According to Deputy Lininger of Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, spike strips were deployed, damaging the passenger side tires of the vehicle, but the vehicle continued north on Hwy. 69.

Downs reportedly failed to maintain the right half of the roadway by drifting into oncoming lanes, was driving careless and imprudently by crossing double yellow lines over hills and failing to signal, putting the lives of the public in grave danger.

Downs continued north on I-35 and Missouri State Highway Patrol successfully deployed spike strips. Downs proceeded to cross the median into oncoming traffic on I-35, driving north in the southbound lanes and nearly caused a head on crash with another vehicle, causing that driver to take evasive action to avoid the collision.

Cameron Police Department and Clinton County deputies blocked the roadway causing Downs to cross the median and return to the proper side of the highway.

Downs then drove the vehicle to the US-36 exit but Cameron Police had blocked the exit. Downs went around the Cameron Police vehicle and drove up the grass embankment of the exit ramp at which point Clinton County Sheriff Fish successfully deployed a PIT maneuver to end the pursuit. Downs and Smith were then apprehended by Clinton County Sheriff deputies. Watch the video of the capture below, via the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Downs was found to have a suspended license and one prior conviction for driving while revoked/suspended out of Andrew County.

Downs pled not guilty at her arraignment on Wednesday, Jan. 3 and is currently being held in Clinton County Jail on a felony charge of resisting arrest with a pending court date.

The value for the items included in Proctor’s abandoned cart totaled $840. In the state of Missouri, an attempted theft of over $750 constitutes a felony charge. Smith’s abandoned cart contained $1,322.90 worth of merchandise.

Proctor was placed on a 24-hour hold for stealing and was charged in Clay County with a felony count of stealing $750 or more and issued a summons for Excelsior Springs Municipal Court for Resisting Detention.

Proctor was arraigned on Thursday, Jan. 4 and pled not guilty. Proctor is being held in Clay County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Smith was placed on a 24-hour hold for stealing and later arrested for a parole violation warrant.

Smith was transported to Clay County Detention Center. Charges against Smith are under review by Clay County Prosecuting Attorney.

The following agencies were involved in this police chase: Excelsior Springs Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Cameron Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol.

By Standard Staff •

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