Berryville youth leads Green Forest police on wild chase

Friday, February 7, 2003

GREEN FOREST ---- A 15-year-old Berryville youth was arrested on multiple charges after leading police on a high-speed chase through city streets and destroying a stolen Chevy Cavalier by crashing the vehicle into a residential fence.

According to Sgt. Brad Handley, the suspect was spotted in the car shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

"At 11:45 p.m., patrolman Brandon Ruley was doing routine patrol of area businesses when he noticed a light blue Chevy Cavalier traveling east on Main Street," Handley said. "He thought it was the same vehicle that was for sale on Sarges Auto Sales lot. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that it didn't have a tag. When he attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle fled."

Handley said the suspect vehicle was traveling 60 to 80 mph at times through city streets, running stop signs, and leaving the roadway on occasion.

"At the intersection of Glenwood and Cherry streets, the driver lost control of the vehicle because of the high rate of speed," Handley said. "He couldn't negotiate the corner safely."

Handley said the vehicle left the roadway, striking a tree stump, went airborne 10 feet, skidded another 50 feet, and struck a chain link fence at a residence, before coming to rest.

"Ruley took the uninjured suspect into custody," Handley said, "and, after reading him his rights, the suspect admitted that he took the car from Sarges Auto Sales."

According to Handley, the suspect told Ruley, "I took the car just a few minutes before you seen me."

The youth, who was wearing a seatbelt, was charged with felony theft of property, felony fleeing, reckless driving, and no driver's license.

He was turned over to juvenile authorities, who transported him to a detention facility to await a court appearance, Handley said.

"This incident was a prime example of excellent police work," Handley stated. "Officer Ruley paid attention to detail and stopped a crime in progress.

"Also, Officer Shannon Hill is to be commended," he continued. "Hill provided backup, worked the crime scene, and made contact with his supervisors and juvenile authorities. The City of Green Forest is fortunate to have Hill and Ruley working for them."

Police Chief John Bailey agreed. "Ruley and Hill did a fantastic job," he stated.

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