A Cabool man faces multiple charges after leading Licking Police Department vehicles on a wild chase Sunday in and around Licking that left one officer injured.
The suspect was identified as Jacob T. Ahu, 21, of Cabool.
Ahu was transported to the Texas County Jail where he was placed on a 24-hour hold pending multiple state charges. A probable cause statement sent to the Texas County prosecuting attorney seeks charges of driving while intoxicated, second-degree assault on law enforcement, third-degree assault of law enforcement, resisting arrest by fleeing, careless and imprudent driving, failure to obey a traffic device, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, failure to use turn signal and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.
EARLY MORNING WILD CHASE
LPD Chief Pat Burton said that at about 12:20 a.m., an officer witnessed a vehicle lose traction at Main Street and Highway 32, and rapidly accelerate, moving eastbound on Highway 32. The officer activated his patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop.
Burton said the suspect vehicle accelerated rapidly and continued to flee through a business parking lot onto North Main Street. The officer observed numerous traffic violations as the vehicle traveled erratically northbound on Main Street to Old Ridge Street and then onto Height Street.
The vehicle continued to the end of the street and turned around, Burton said, before driving back toward the officer’s patrol vehicle which was positioned in the center of the roadway. The suspect vehicle narrowly missed the patrol vehicle before fully leaving the roadway and driving through a residential yard and back onto Old Ridge Street.
The suspect vehicle swerved, Burton said, and narrowly missed an additional responding LPD vehicle, before leaving the roadway again and driving through another yard. The suspect vehicle reportedly continued southbound on North Main Street, through town, continuing to commit various traffic offenses and show total disregard for the safety of other motorists and property owners in the area.
Once the vehicle neared the south edge of Licking, Burton said, it turned around and proceeded to return toward the north side of Licking before exiting the city limits on Kimble Road. The suspect vehicle then travelled northbound on Kimble Road to Highway CC and then on to southbound U.S. 63, returning back inside Licking city limits.
During this time, members of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol had responded and assisted in the pursuit. Once the suspect vehicle returned to the city, Burton said, it continued southbound on U.S. 63 to College Avenue, then northbound on Main Street to Highway 32, and then back southbound on U.S. 63.
The suspect vehicle continued southbound on U.S. 63 to College Avenue, where it again turned eastbound and then turned into the Licking Elementary School parking lot, Burton said. The suspect vehicle then attempted to exit the parking lot but found the north exit was blocked by an additional responding LPD vehicle.
The suspect vehicle swerved and narrowly missed the patrol vehicle, Burton said, before driving around parked school buses and through another yard and back onto College Avenue. The suspect vehicle then travelled to Walker Street and to Maple Avenue and continued to travel eastbound toward South Main Street, Burton said. Once the vehicle approached the intersection of Maple Avenue and South Main Street, it drove through a business parking lot to avoid the awaiting patrol vehicles at the intersection, and then began travelling northbound on South Main Street.
The suspect vehicle swerved toward multiple patrol vehicles, Burton said, before leaving the roadway and into another business parking lot. The vehicle travelled through the parking lot, across the yard, through a drainage ditch and back onto South Main Street.
The suspect vehicle travelled northbound on South Main Street before leaving the roadway, travelling across the First Baptist Church grass and into the north parking area, Burton said. Once inside the parking lot, the suspect vehicle was blocked in by police vehicles and the man driving exited the vehicle.
Burton said a Licking officer went to apprehend the suspect, and he attempted to strike the officer with his fist. The suspect was taken to the ground and secured with handcuffs. Burton said the Licking officer sustained lacerations to his hand and leg during the altercation.