A vehicle chase that began in Coffeyville ended more than an hour later in the Cherokee city limits with the arrest of the driver. No injuries were reported.
Montgomery County Sheriff Ron Wade said sheriff’s deputies were notified of the chase at 5:11 p.m. Wednesday. A person in a maroon minivan had fired gunshots at a law officer and sped away.
The pursuit left Coffeyville city limits and deputies picked up the pursuit at U.S. 160 and County Road 4900, which is 4 miles east of Independence. The minivan committed multiple traffic infractions and reached speeds of up to 90 mph, Sheriff Wade said in a news release.
This pursuit followed roads into Wilson County and then Labette County.
Labette County Sheriff Darren Eichinger said the pursuit generally followed U.S. 400 through Labette County, though it traveled on 25000 and 27000 roads as well. Stop Sticks were deployed near 25000 and Ford roads, but they did not stop the van immediately. The van threw chunks of tire as it traveled eastbound toward Cherokee County.
Montgomery County, Coffeyville, Labette sheriff and the Kansas Highway Patrol were involved for most of the pursuit, though Labette County units backed off once the pursuit entered Cherokee County on U.S. 400, Eichinger said. Deputies also tried to deploy Stop Sticks one more time at Wallace Road and U.S. 400, but the van’s driver, Brice Bethel, 27, Coffeyville, avoided them.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said his deputies picked up the pursuit at 6:13 p.m. on U.S. 400 and the van stopped at 6:25 p.m. at Cherokee. Bethel will not face charges in Cherokee County.
Montgomery County Sheriff Wade said Bethel had two children in the van and carried several firearms that law enforcement recovered.
Bethel remains in the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault of a law officer with a deadly weapon, stalking after being served a protection order, criminal possession of a weapon by a felon, criminal discharge of a firearm, flee or attempt to elude, aggravated endangering a child, all felonies, and multiple misdemeanor charges.
“No one was hurt in this incident. Everyone went home safe to their families, and those children in that car are safe, and that is what matters,” Wade said in the release.