Authorities have charged a Gasconade County teen who eluded Franklin County deputies for several hours last Friday after leading them on two high-speed chases.
John E. Keller, 18, Owensville, is charged in a felony complaint with one count of stealing a motor vehicle and one count of resisting arrest by fleeing, creating a substantial risk of injury or death to any person. A $35,000 bond was set in the case.
Keller was taken into custody about 6:45 a.m. Friday, May 4, when a county deputy responded to a suspicious person near a residence on North Bend Road, south of Union.
The deputy reported finding the suspect sitting in a chair on the porch of a home. When asked, the teen said that he lived at the home but then admitted that he did not, according to the sheriff’s report.
Keller then was taken to the sheriff’s office for questioning about the pursuit that began about 2 a.m. when deputies responded to a report of two suspects in a white Pontiac who left without paying for gas at the Midwest Petroleum station on Highway 47 in Union.
A deputy who was responding to the report saw the vehicle on Highway 47. When he attempted to stop it, the driver made a sharp turn onto Highway AD, north of St. Clair, and headed west at a high rate of speed.
As the vehicle approached Sunset Lane and North Bend Loop Road, the driver failed to slow down and the car crossed the intersection and struck a wooden trash can holder, a large tree and ended up against a pickup truck, the sheriff’s office reported. The driver fled but the passenger was pinned in the car. He was later taken to Mercy Hospital Washington for examination.
As deputies were searching for the driver a report came in that an SUV with a trailer had been stolen from a residence a short distance from where the crash occurred.
A deputy en route to the scene saw the stolen vehicle approaching the North Bend and North Bend Loop Road intersection and used road spikes to deflate the tires. The vehicle hit the spikes, then crashed into a utility pole, according to the report.
The driver then fled on foot into a wooded area near River Hawk Trail Drive and remained at large until he was caught at 6:45 a.m.