'Like a coward': Suspect runs over Kan. officer's leg while fleeing police

The Wichita officer was off his motorcycle and talking with the driver when the suspect "decided to gun the accelerator and run the officer over"

By Michael Stavola
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — Two people were injured, including an officer who had his leg run over, after a welfare check led to a police pursuit and crash Thursday morning, Wichita police said.

The chase ended near 15th and Meridian after the suspect, driving a truck, collided with a van, leaving the woman in that vehicle with possible serious injuries. The 51-year-old was taken to the hospital.

The suspect then took off on foot before he was arrested, police Chief Joseph Sullivan said.

"Witness accounts indicate that he was traveling at a high rate of speed and (ran) the stop sign behind me to make a turn and that's how the civilian injury occurred," Sullivan said. "Struck that vehicle at a relatively high rate of speed, drove it off the street, and, of course, like a coward, fled the scene, tried to run away, didn't check to see if the motorist he injured was OK or whether there were children in the car."

Nicholas Shugart, 41, of Wichita has been arrested on suspicion of three counts of aggravated battery, two counts of failing to stop at an accident, one count of fleeing and eluding police and one count of driving with a suspended license. He was also arrested on different warrants, police said.

Odessa Silcott, 27, of Wichita, a passenger in the truck, was arrested on four drug-related charges and a probation violation, police said.

There is a school near the site of the crash.

Sullivan said police would review the high-speed chase but "there is no indication at this time that this pursuit was not conducted properly given circumstances of the seriousness of the offense that occurred."

The call started as a welfare check in the 600 block of West 30th Street, in south Wichita. Around 7:09 a.m., a caller reported two people slumped over in a truck.

Officers responded.

A motorcycle officer, who was off his bike, was talking with the driver when the suspect "decided to gun the accelerator and run the officer over," Sullivan said.

The officer's leg was run over. Police said he's stable and in good condition. They said late in the day that he was being released from the hospital.

"It's only by the grace of God that he wasn't hurt more seriously," Sullivan said.

After the officer was run over, a police chase ensued.

Police lost the truck around McLean and Douglas but found it again near McLean and Meridian, police Capt. Jason Stephens said, adding the suspect ran a stop sign before the collision happened at 15th and Meridian, more than six miles from where the chase started.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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