Deputies chase, taser, pepper spray violent Owensville man

An Owensville man led a Maries County Sheriff’s Deputy on a high speed chase on Highway 28 from Belle into Osage County on Sunday evening when the condition of the highway was poor due to snow.

Joshua R. Barton, 31, of Owensville, has been charged by the Maries County Prosecuting Attorney with four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. 

The sheriff’s office reports that the vehicle Barton was driving was stolen from Owensville. When the officer tried to stop Barton, he took the ditch and began to flee. Barton stopped after the vehicle broke down. He continued to flee from law enforcement officers on foot and was apprehended when deputies had to forcefully take him into custody. Barton resisted arrest and assaulted the deputies including grabbing the genitals of one of the on-scene officers and kicking a deputy. Barton continued his violence in the patrol car, kicking and damaging the vehicle. Sheriff Chris Heitman said the deputies were forced to taser and pepper spray Barton to keep him under control.

Sheriff Chris Heitman said Barton was impaired and continued his violent behavior at the sheriff’s office where he would not stand still for a mugshot. Heitman said two minutes after the mugshot was taken, Barton chest bumped the sheriff and there was an altercation and Barton was pepper sprayed for a second time. He had to be isolated and it took him some time to calm down. Heitman said Barton told him he was going to Belle to see a girl when the chase began. He told them whiskey was the reason he was acting this way. Heitman said Barton, who is a convicted rapist, made terrible statements to him and his deputies about raping women and girls they know. 

He has been charged with the class D felony of tampering with a motor vehicle, the class E felony of resisting/interfering with arrest for a felony, the class E felony of resisting arrest/detention/stop by fleeing, the class E felony of first degree property damage, and the misdemeanor of exceeded posted speed limit.

He is being held in the Maries County Jail with no bond until his court appearance.

Sheriff Heitman said the Maries County Sheriff’s Office will continue to pursue persons who do crimes in the county and flee from law enforcement.

Koeltztown man arrested for forgery

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Koeltztown man on suspicion of forgery.

Deputies have filed for charges on Michael B. Eads for forgery after knowingly stealing checks and allegedly using them at a Freeburg business to purchase beer and cigarettes on three separate occasions.

When deputies encountered him, Eads stated, “I know why you are here.” Eads admitted to taking the checkbook without permission and admitted to signing the victim’s name on the checks.

Eads was transported to the Osage County Jail without incident.

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