Patrol car hit in chase; suspect flees

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 1, 2004

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department officials were looking for asuspect this morning following a Thursday night chase in which adepartment patrol car was struck and damaged, said InvestigatorLance Falvey.

Falvey said an officer observed a violation and started topursue the suspect, who driving an older model Chevrolet Caprice.Falvey did not have additional information on the violation andwould not identify the officer involved, saying he would have toconsult with Sheriff Wiley Calcote before doing so.

The pursuit began in the area of South Second Street and OleBrook Road.

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It continued in that area until the suspect’s vehicle struck thepatrol car on South First Street. Falvey said the damage to thefront of the patrol car was minor.

Falvey said the suspect fled on foot after the crash. Thesuspect remained at large this morning.

“An arrest is expected soon,” Falvey said, citing progress inthe investigation.

During the incident on South First Street, DAILY LEADERphotographer Joel Bonner was kept from taking pictures and waswarned of a possible trip to jail if he didn’t leave the scene.Bonner was ordered to a perimeter area that was too far away forphotographs to be taken.

At the perimeter, Bonner spoke to a deputy about getting closer.Through radio contact with the deputy, Falvey warned there was “aplace (Bonner) would not like” if he did not comply.

Falvey said law officers had established a crime scene and thathe was unable to explain that before Bonner got upset about beingmoved to the perimeter.

The investigator said Bonner persisted at the perimeter. Heacknowledged using stern language in order to preserve the crimescene.

“We cannot allow a crime scene to be breached by unauthorizedpersonnel,” Falvey said.

Bonner said he may have gotten upset but was “egged on” byFalvey.

“I didn’t think he was going to say anything else,” Bonnersaid.

Bonner said he did not want to press the issue Thursday nightand left after consulting with his managing editor. He said it was”shocking” not to be allowed to take pictures of the scene.

“I was more surprised than anything else,” Bonner said. “Ihadn’t had any kind of treatment like that before. I was trying tounderstand what the situation was.”

Bonner said he did not identify himself upon arriving at theaccident scene. However, he indicated Falvey’s order that he nottake pictures made his identity clear.

“With his reaction to me, he knew exactly who I was,” Bonnersaid.

Contacted this morning, Sheriff Wiley Calcote said he was awareof last night’s incident but did not have any details. He said hewould look into the situation.

Falvey said he intended no harm or malice by his actions. Hesaid relations between the sheriff’s department and the media havebeen good.

“I think we’ve been pretty accommodating with the press andpress has been pretty accommodating with us,” Falvey said.