Four hours as a hostage leads Kan. man to career as an officer

A life-or-death encounter inspired the man to start a career in law enforcement

By Police1 Staff

TOPEKA, Kan. — A harrowing four hours spent as a hostage in 2009 was the catalyst for one man becoming a police officer.

"For four hours of my life in Dover, Kansas, I didn't know if I was going to live or not," Topeka Officer Jared Rowley told WIBW.

On Sep. 12, 2009, Rowley and his wife, Lindsay, were returning home from their destination wedding when a van wrecked into a tree in their front yard.

The driver, Jesse Dimmick, was a fugitive wanted for murder in Colorado.

"I thought it was an accident so I started running out, and that's when I heard four gunshots and I was like, 'Ooh, umm.....this isn't an accident anymore'," Rowley said.

Rowley was able to get Lindsay to their basement before Dimmick came through their front door.

"We had a small confrontation where he did pull out his knife," he said.

Lindsay heard her husband and Dimmick scuffling upstairs, and headed back upstairs to help. The couple decided to befriend Dimmick in order to calm him down enough to make their escape.

“He messed up and he let me and my wife go change clothes, and when he did that, we had enough time to escape and run out the front door," Rowley said.

The life-or-death encounter changed Rowley forever, inspiring him to become a crime fighter.

In 2013, Rowley became a Topeka police officer and now works with the department’s response team as a crisis negotiator.

"It's very few people that had those experiences, so if I can help somebody, because I've had the experience, to see what people are going through, I figured I would maybe owe that to the people out there," Rowley said.

Dimmick is serving 11 years for kidnapping along with other charges. His earliest release date is June 2019. After that, he’ll serve a 37-year sentence for second-degree murder in Colorado.

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