Man faces charges following chase

A man who led police on a chase that began in Columbus and ended north of Brownstown late Tuesday was arrested nearly a dozen hours later.

William D. Deckard, 19, of Columbus, faces Level 6 felony charges of auto theft, theft and resisting law enforcement by fleeing in a vehicle.

The incident began around 9 p.m. with an attempted traffic stop at State Road 11 and State Road 46. The pursuit ended in the 3000 block of County Road 100W near Brownstown when the driver fled on foot into a wooded area, Jackson County Reserve Officer Scott Davis said Wednesday.

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Police spent the remainder of Tuesday evening and the early-morning hours of Wednesday looking for him, Davis said.

A 25-year-old Cass County woman, who was a passenger in the Ford F350 the man was driving, didn’t flee and was arrested, Davis said. That woman, Cassandra Smith of Logansport, faces Level 6 felony charges of theft, auto theft and resisting law enforcement and a misdemeanor charge of false informing.

Deckard was arrested about 8 a.m. Wednesday after a farmer reported seeing a man walking in a field in the 1000 block of County Road 100N, Davis said.

He was picked up by Lt. Andy Wayman with the sheriff’s department.

“We had issued an alert on the county notification system to people in that area to make them aware of what happened and told them to lock their doors and be alert,” Davis said.

He said police are still trying to determine why the driver fled from police initially, although it was later determined the truck involved in the pursuit had been taken from someone in Ripley County. The owners of that truck did not know it had been stolen until they were notified about it being recovered in Jackson County, Davis said.

Deckard also is wanted on a Bartholomew County warrant for failure to appear and faces the potential for charges related to the part of the pursuit that occurred in that county before it entered Jackson County, Davis said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a pursuit in the 1100 block of North State Road 11 at 9:32 p.m. Tuesday.

The pursuit continued in Hamilton Township through Bobtown and Cortland before heading into the Shieldstown bottoms and the Honeytown area, where it ended, Davis said.

Deckard was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 8:39 a.m. Tuesday and was being held without bond. He also faces a Class A misdemeanor charge of trespassing and Class B misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, criminal recklessness and criminal mischief for driving through a soybean field in the 5000 block of East County Road 800N.

Davis said Deckard also faces potential charges related to the stolen truck, which appears to be related to a burglary and an abandoned vehicle that contained stolen tools from that same burglary in Ripley County. The Ripley County Sheriff’s Department is working on that part of the investigation.

Jackson County Officer Jesse Hutchinson and Columbus Police Department units were directly involved in the pursuit. County reserve officers Kevin Settle, Tyler Goodpaster and Shane Collier assisted, along with a unit from the Indiana State Police. Seymour police officers established roadblocks on roads leading into the city when the pursuit was reported to be entering the county, Davis said.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.