A man accused of endangering a number of people on the Rotary Riverfront Trail Wednesday morning during a police pursuit was arrested Thursday afternoon at a Union area home. The suspect, Jeremy M. Nixon, 27, Washington, is charged with resisting arrest by fleeing, creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of driving while revoked or suspended and stealing less than $500. Judge Dave Hoven ordered a $10,000 cash-only bond in the case.
The pursuit that ended on the riverfront trail near the south pier of the Washington bridge, stemmed from a theft report about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Labadie area.
The sheriff’s office said a landowner reported that he saw two men and a woman steal two large commercial batteries from an irrigation pump on property off of Labadie Bottom and Davis roads.
The victim gave deputies the license number and a description of the suspects’ car which he said was headed toward Labadie at a high rate of speed.
As deputies were searching the area for the vehicle, Sgt. Jason Weggemann spotted the suspects heading west on Old Highway 100 approaching the Washington city limits.
The deputy got in pursuit and attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver turned off Old 100 and onto Simmonds Avenue at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The driver, later identified as Nixon, then turned left and headed west on the riverfront trail.
Sgt. Weggemann said in a report that the pursuit presented a dangerous situation given the number of walkers and bikers on the trail. He said he lost sight of the fleeing vehicle and opted to continue on with sirens and flashing lights to warn any pedestrians of the situation.
“While traveling on the trail, I came upon numerous pedestrians who were waiting off the sides of the trail for me to pass . . ,” Weggemann wrote in his report.
He said after about a mile he saw the vehicle stopped on the trail with the driver’s door open. A man and a woman were in the car and they were held at gunpoint until other officers arrived to assist.
Officers then began searching for Nixon who fled on foot into the woods south of the trail. The search continued for more than an hour without success.
Wednesday night, police received information that Nixon was at a home in a trailer park in the city but he had left by the time officers arrived.
The next day he was tracked to a home on Frank Street in Union. When deputies knocked at the front door, Nixon fled out of a basement door but immediately was taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office.
The names of the other two suspects were not released because they have not been charged yet.
Both said they tried to get Nixon to stop on the trail but he wouldn’t. They said they were scared that the car would hit pedestrians and that it came close to striking some joggers, according to the report.
The male suspect directed deputies to a location off Coleman Road later Wednesday where they located the two batteries, valued at about $200 each, according to the report.