Three-county high speed chase leaves residents questioning Sunday night sirens

Neal Johnson
of the Unterrified Democrat

Following an assault of a St. James police officer, Jeremy W. Krug, 32, of Lafayette, Ind., led authorities in what became a multi-county and multi-jurisdictional chase that ended just outside Westphalia at about 8:20 p.m. Sunday.

“This was a highly dangerous situation, and I am very grateful that no one was hurt or killed during the pursuit,” said Sheriff Mike Bonham. “I’m glad were able to assist our fellow agencies in apprehending this suspect.”

According to a probable cause statement by Deputy Art Strickland, who worked the situation with Sgt. Dennis Sutton, they were notified of the pursuit at approximately 7:36 p.m. and responded to the area of Rt. E at the junction of Hwy. 63 in an effort to end the pursuit.

Osage County 911 advised the deputies that the chase had entered the county and the suspect was approaching Freeburg at speeds reportedly in excess of 105 MPH. Further, it was relayed to officers that the pursuit began after Krug allegedly assaulted a police officer.

Spike strips were set up at the junction and when the vehicle approached, Deputy Strickland successfully deployed the device, puncturing both front tires and the rear driver’s tire.

Yet Krug continued to flee, with a host of law enforcement closing in.

Upon approaching the intersection of Hwy. 63 and CR 611, Strickland overtook a Maries County patrol vehicle and was the second officer in pursuit.

As the convoy neared the Westphalia city limits, Strickland passed Krug, at which time he veered to the left, crossing the southbound lane and exiting the highway.

After shouting commands to exit the car, deputies broke the driver’s window to gain access, at this time, Krug was removed and taken into custody without further incident.

During a search of the vehicle, Strickland reported that he found four glass pipes used for the consumption of meth, along with a “tooter,” a plastic straw commonly used for snorting narcotics.

Additionally, a lockbox was located under the passenger seat, which was subjected to an air-sniff test by K-9 Zed, who alerted to the presence of drugs.

Inside the box, Strickland found five more pipes used for the consumption of meth, and two glass mirrors, and an electronic scale, all of which contained a crystalline substance field-tested positive for meth. Another small lock box was found which contained q-tips and a small bag containing what tested positive for meth.

Krug has been charged in Osage County with possession of a controlled substance, except 35 grams or less marijuana, resisting arrest by flight from law enforcement and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. He was denied bond.

In Phelps County, where the pursuit originated, Krug has been charged with resisting arrest, and bond was set at $30,000 in that case.