Man arrested after Jefferson City police chase

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JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police had a man in custody Thursday following a police pursuit and car crash.

Police said Charles Thompson, 19, faces multiple felony charges and traffic charges. 

JCPD Captain Doug Shoemaker said the pursuit began on Missouri Boulevard where Thompson committed a traffic violation. Shoemaker said officers discovered Thompson's vehicle, a blue Chevy Impala, was stolen out of St. Louis County. They attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but Thompson accelerated his vehicle, he said.

Shoemaker said the vehicle traveled eastbound on Missouri Boulevard to Highway 50. He said in between there, the suspect nearly hit an on-duty police officer head on in an attempt to go the wrong way down Highway 50. 

"It would have been disastrous and very dangerous to say the least," Shoemaker said. 

Police said Thompson sped away and crashed into another vehicle near the intersection of East McCarty St. and Eastland Dr. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was sent to a nearby hospital for injuries.

Shoemaker said Thompson then ran off into the woods on the south side of McCarty Street. 

"There were a number of officers pursuing him," Shoemaker said. "It was us, it was Cole County Sheriff's Department, Highway Patrol was in the area, and within a very short amount of time, one of our officers chased him down and then took him into custody."

Police said the suspect initially said there was another person in the vehicle with him. However, Shoemaker said several officers only saw one person in the car during the pursuit. 

Lewis and Clark Middle School, just minutes down the road from the crash, went into lockdown. Shoemaker said he was there, and the lockdown was lifted after police determined there was not a second suspect. 

"I'm always impressed with how well the schools react to those things," Shoemaker said. "Communication lines are constantly opened, so again very please with how quickly they reacted to that lockdown." 

Shoemaker said Thompson may sound familiar because they arrested him and two other men on February 15, 2015 for homicide.

Thompson was found not guilty in March on three of four charges related to the death of 52-year-old Johnny Evans. Thompson was found not guilty of murder, attempted robbery and armed criminal action but was found guilty of burglary. Police said Thompson was supposed to be sentenced for burglary later this month. 

"Obviously, we're not really happy about that because here we are again," Shoemaker said. "We've got an innocent person that's struck and a number of felonies that have been committed." 

Shoemaker said Thompson now faces multiple felony charges including first degree assault, tampering with a motor vehicle, two counts of Assault on an officer, property destruction, and resisting arrest. Police said other charges may be added as well.