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Stolen Seneca vehicle leads to pursuit; arrest made in Atchison

(KAIR/KNZA)--A three-county pursuit, that began with the report of a stolen Seneca vehicle and ended in Atchison after reaching speeds over 100 mph Wednesday, led to the arrest of a 19-year-old homeless man.

According to a release from Brown County Sheriff John Merchant, Adrian Richardson is named as the alleged driver of the Dodge pickup truck, reported stolen late Wednesday afternoon from the Nemaha County community. He faces charges for 4 counts of aggravated assault, reckless driving, flee or attempt to elude law enforcement, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, interference of law enforcement officers, no drug tax stamp, felony theft, and possible additional charges. Richardson had two active warrants, one from Johnson County, Kansas and the other from Jackson County, Missouri, at the time of his Wednesday arrest.

He was taken into custody near the Benedictine College ball field, shortly after the stolen truck arrived in Atchison, following the pursuit that was started east of Fairview by a Brown County Sheriff's Deputy who located the stolen truck, which sped away, making its way toward Hiawatha. As it did so, the pursuit was downgraded due to public safety concerns.

A Hiawatha Police Officer, after deputies temporarily lost sight of the vehicle, spotted it a short time later, southbound on U.S. Highway 73, heading toward Horton, and followed it, as the truck reportedly intentionally attempted to run numerous motorists off the road.

The pursuit was again terminated for safety, this time several miles west of the Atchison City limits, prior to the vehicle being spotted, and stopped, near the Atchison college. According to Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson, an officer on Atchison's west Main Street first spotted the truck, but lost sight of it. Around 5:30, the Atchison agency “received information that a suspicious vehicle had just stopped in the area of Washington Street and Mound Street and the driver ran from the vehicle on foot.” An officer responded, located Richardson, and took him into custody.

Merchant commends the role played by the Atchison Police Department, as well as the Atchison County Sheriff's Office, Hiawatha Police, the Nemaha County Sheriff's Office, Seneca Police, Sac and Fox Police, Horton Police, and other assisting agencies, including Brown County Dispatch.

Merchant, who says the investigation is ongoing, is seeking information from the public related to the pursuit, saying in the release that “the [alleged] actions of [Richardson] put many at risk,” and is “asking that if anyone encountered [the stolen truck] during the pursuit that compromised your safety” to call 785-742-7125.

Following his arrest in Atchison, Richardson was transported to the Brown County Jail.

Richardson was reportedly wearing a mask, which hid his face, as he allegedly drove alone during the pursuit.

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