Three Great Bend men are in custody following an early Thursday morning high-speed chase that reached speeds over 100 miles per hour and involved the ramming of a Barton County Sheriff’s Office patrol car, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Tanner Guyton, age 19, of Great Bend. Guyton was charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer for striking the deputy’s vehicle, felony flee and elude, felony obstruction, possession of stolen property and numerous other traffic violations.
The passengers were identified as Esteban Foster, age 20 of Great Bend, and Jericho Riddle, age 18 also Great Bend. Riddle and Foster were both charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony obstruction.
Bond for all three suspects is set at $100,000 each. They remained in the Barton County Jail Thursday afternoon.
At about 12:45 a.m. Thursday, BCSO Deputy Sheriff Alex Lomas attempted to stop a vehicle in the 400 block of SE 80 Ave. which was bearing expired registration. But, when the deputy attempted to stop the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado, Guyton fled, Bellendir said.
Lomas pursued the truck, which was later determined to be stolen. Speeds in the county exceeded 100 mph.
Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle for 23 miles in rural Barton County before it entered the City of Great Bend, the sheriff said. Officers attempted to deploy stop sticks but the suspects evaded them. After entering the city, the driver continued to flee from BCSO deputies and Great Bend Police Department officers.
Near the intersection of 18th Street and Kansas Avenue, the suspect intentionally rammed deputy Lomas’s patrol car, Bellendir said. The patrol car sustained heavy damage and was out of service, but the deputy was not injured.
The suspect vehicle continued to flee, reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph in the city.
“Fortunately, traffic was light at that time of the morning and there is little danger to the public. Sheriff’s Deputies and city police officers continued to pursue the vehicle,” the sheriff said.
“Because of the complete disregard for public safety and striking the deputy’s patrol car, I authorized the use of lawful intervention by another patrol car to strike the suspect vehicle if possible, to bring it to stop,” Bellendir said.
The chase continued to the 1500 block of 11th Street in Great Bend where BCSO deputy Sheriff Richard Allen had the opportunity to strike the rear of the suspect vehicle with his patrol car, putting it into a spin. The vehicle went into a front yard and struck a tree.
Several officers arrived seconds after the stop. All three occupants of the vehicle were arrested.
“The Sheriff’s Office wishes to express our sincere thanks to officers of the Great Bend Police Department who assisted,” Bellendir said.
No law enforcement officers or suspects were injured in the situation.