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Great Bend man arrested in multi-agency chase
cerna mugshot 2023

RICE COUNTY — A multi-agency chase of a fleeing stolen vehicle early Sunday morning resulted in an arrest of a Great Bend man in Rice County, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said Monday morning.

Sheriff Bellendir reported that at about 1 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office was taking a report of a stolen vehicle in the 3800 block of Second Street southwest of Great Bend. While at the scene, the deputy communicated the description of the vehicle. 

A unit with the Great Bend Police Department observed the vehicle heading eastbound on U.S. 56 at about 1:39 a.m., leaving Great Bend. Deputies intercepted the vehicle on East Barton County Road and attempted to stop it, Bellendir noted.

The vehicle continued to flee east toward Ellinwood, where an Ellinwood police unit was able to deploy stop sticks. The vehicle ran through the stop sticks as they flattened one tire.

The vehicle continued east out of Ellinwood into Rice County, where the pursuit was joined by the Rice County Sheriff’s Office and Lyons Police Department.

Stop sticks were again deployed east of Chase, which flattened another tire.

The vehicle continued into the city of Lyons, where it struck two BCSO patrol units and one from the Sterling Police Department.

The vehicle was then forced to stop after being struck by units from several agencies.

The driver was identified as Luis Cerna, 24, of Great Bend. Cerna was arrested and transported to Rice County Jail, where he is being held on charges of felony flee and elude, driving while a habitual violator, possession of stolen property and criminal damage to property. Bond was set at $75,000.

The BCSO is requesting charges of felony flee and elude and theft. Cerna will be transferred to Barton County after facing the Rice County charges, Sheriff Bellendir said.