A 31-year-old St. Clair man remains jailed in Maries County on a quarter-million dollar bond following a bizarre incident early Sunday morning (Nov. 25) when he reportedly pulled beside deputies in a stolen car and challenged them to a race.
Deputies had been assisting a stranded motorist on Highway 63 near Vichy when David L. Williams came up behind them at a high rate of speed, stopped, and asked if they wanted to race, according to Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman.
“The driver of that vehicle then sped off breaking traction, and traveled at a high rate of speed away (from deputies),” Heitman reported. The vehicle matched a description of a car that was recently stolen from Crocker, Mo.
“Deputies pursued the vehicle at a high rate of speed,” said Heitman. “The vehicle they were pursuing continued to resist arrest and traveled in excess of 90 miles per hour into the city limits of Vienna. Vienna Police had a vehicle set up on the side of the road. As the vehicle traveled towards the police officer, he was forced to fire two rounds into the engine compartment of the vehicle.”
Pursuit continued through Vienna before city police and deputies were able to block in, and eventually stop the stolen car, using their own vehicle bumpers. “As deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect continued to resist arrested and he refused to exit the vehicle or open the door,” Heitman reported. “Officers were forced to break out the window of the vehicle to remove the suspect.
Heitman said Williams “appeared to be impaired and possibly under the influence of an illegal controlled substance.”
Williams has 10 prior felony arrest and several convictions, Heitman reported. On June 5, 2012, Williams was placed on probation for tampering with a motor vehicle. His record includes a felony conviction for stealing a motor vehicle. He was just released from prison in 2010 for that violation, according to Heitman. While processing the vehicle, deputies located suspected stolen property, said Heitman.
Williams was charged in a Maries County warrant alleging felony assault in the second degree of a law enforcement officer “by recklessly placing a law enforcement officer in apprehension of immediate serious injury by driving a motor vehicle towards the officer’s vehicle at a high rate of speed.
He is also charge with felony resisting arrest. Bond was set at $250,000.
“Numerous traffic violations and other charges are expected to be filed at a later date, and I am expecting charges out of Pulaski County for stealing a motor vehicle,” reported Heitman.
While jailed, Williams is also alleged to have “attempted to assault a sheriff’s deputy by striking him with his fist.” The deputy responded by pepper-spraying Williams, said Heitman. “Additional charges are going to be requested with the Maries County prosecutor for this attempted assault as well.
“I must say this is one of the most unusual cases I have ever been involved in,” said Heitman. “It was (as) if the driver of the vehicle was deliberately taunting the sheriff’s deputies and breaking the law in front of them for them to give chase. I have never had someone in a stolen car pulled up to sheriff’s deputies and ask them if they wanted to race and then take off at a high rate of speed.
“I am thankful no one was hurt in this very dangerous and lengthy high speed pursuit. I appreciate the assistance of the Vienna Police Department to help us safely take this dangerous felon off the roadway. Law enforcement officers never like to discharge are weapons in the line of duty, but sometimes it is necessary to protect our lives and the lives of innocent civilians’ on the roadway.
“I have to commend Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Turnbough, Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Midkiff, and Assistant (Vienna) Police Chief Mark Friedman for the way they handled this situation. It is because of their diligent efforts that this dangerous suspect is in jail and no innocent civilians were injured.”
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