A car chase along Interstate 30 Wednesday morning resulted in the arrest of two men wanted in Illinois for armed robbery. The pair is thought to be two of three men who earlier this month allegedly kidnapped an elderly woman from her driveway in Frankfort Square, a small, quiet community in Wills County, Ill., said Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk.
Police and state troopers were still processing and interviewing the two men just before lunch Wednesday at Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office. The Chicago Tribune, on March 8, reported suspect Chavell Anderson, 21, had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of an elderly woman, who was forced to give her captors information about her bank accounts. Will County, Ill., sheriff’s office at that time told the press they’d obtained warrants for the other two men’s arrest for armed robbery. The two wanted men, according to the Chicago Tribune report, were identified as Aaron D. Anderson, 20, of New Lenox, Ill., and Dorian Yamini, 23, of Richton Park, Ill.
Bayuk said the two men taken into custody following the I-30 chase Wednesday morning were the ones wanted in Illinois.
The police chief said they weren’t aware the pair was wanted until after officers got the vehicle stopped and the men into custody, and commended all responding law enforcement officers for handling of the situation “extremely well.”
The chase started on I-30 in Sulphur Springs, when SSPD Lt. Jason Ricketson attempted to make a traffic stop on a rental car with Michigan license plates at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. When the car failed to yield to the interdiction officer, Ricketson told dispatchers he was pursuing the car as it continued at a high rate of speed westbound on I-30. The car exited I-30 onto the north service road, where it continued west at a high rate of speed.
City Communications Supervisor Nancy Stillwagoner alerted city officers and county dispatchers of the pursuit so that all available officers in the area of the pursuit could set up at locations along the area in order to lend assistance to Ricketson in getting the fleeing car stopped.
“She did an outstanding job, remaining professional and calm under pressure,” Bayuk commended.
Bayuk said it was fortunate Texas Department of Public Safety Cpl. Brandon Stribling was on duty and in the area of the chase as it crossed I-30 to the south service road, turning eastward. Noting the chase was again entering a more heavily trafficked area the closer it got to the city, Stribling deployed a spike strip on the south service road by the [U.S. Highway 67] overpass, which flattened several of the vehicle’s tires.
“I want to thank Cpl. Stribling for deploying those spike strips,” Bayuk said. “If he was not there, we would have had to call off the pursuit due to the fact the pursuit was becoming too dangerous to our general public due to the driver’s unsafe driving. Lt. Ricketson had the intelligence to know it would not be worth someone getting hurt to continue the pursuit. He was at the point of calling an to end the pursuit so as not to endanger the public further if it continued further, when Stribling responded with the spike strips.”
Officers were able to get the car stopped a short distance down the road near Commercial Glass. Bayuk said the incident only reinforces his intent to “look into my department obtaining spike strips” to reduce risk to citizens by providing a tool to slow down or halt dangerous pursuits.
The two men in the car were taken into custody without further problems, the police chief said.
“Our officers encountered no resistance from them. What does concern me about the two individuals, who we later found out were wanted in Illinois for the alleged kidnapping of an elderly woman from her driveway, was a high point .40-caliber pistol was found in the vehicle,” Bayuk said.
Local law enforcement learned through records checks, Illinois authorities and other information gleaned later Wednesday morning that the two in custody were wanted for armed robbery. The third suspect, Chavell Anderson, had already been arrested in connection with the Frankfort Square robbery.
“The information we received was that three men, including the two we have here, took an elderly female at gunpoint. They are believed to have kidnapped her at her residence and drove away, forcing her to give her credit card and ATM cards and/or information so they could get the money from her accounts. They drove around for a little while, then released the elderly woman, unharmed,” Bayuk reported.
The Chicago Tribune reported the woman was released Monday, March 4, at an intersection. She walked to a gas station in that area and called police. The suspects were identified after being caught on video surveillance at a Wal-Mart store, where they tried to use the victim’s credit card at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. Chavell Anderson had been taken into custody by March 8, Tribune reported.
The news source further reported that “Will County Circuit Court Records show Aaron D. Anderson, who is not related to Chavell Anderson, has been free on $5,000 bail since pleading guilty in April 2012 to aggravated robbery of a Frankfort man in July 2011. He was scheduled to be sentenced April 3, 2013.”
Bayuk said Illinois detectives have been in contact almost constantly with local authorities since the two men were taken into custody following the chase earlier this morning. Bond on the robbery charge is preset at $1 million each, but Illinois authorities indicated they intend to proceed with “full extradition” back to that state.
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