TO: All Media
DATE: March 29, 2016
FOR: Immediate Release
On March 28, 2016 at 3:59 am, a Deputy Sheriff with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office located a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle whose driver was believed to have been involved with an attempted burglary in Frontenac, KS, two stolen license plates in Pittsburg, KS and also a police pursuit in Pittsburg.
The vehicle, a newer model Chevrolet Camaro was first located near Arcadia, KS travelling west on 710 Avenue. The operator of the Camaro attempted to evade the deputy by driving with vehicle lights turned off for periods of time and displaying other signs of reckless driving. At one point the operator turned his vehicle to face the oncoming deputy. The operator accelerated and steered the vehicle towards the deputy’s vehicle. The deputy was forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being struck by the suspect vehicle. The pursuit was terminated as the deputy lost sight of the suspect vehicle by the time he had turned around to continue the pursuit.
At 4:25 am, an officer with Arma Police encountered the vehicle, pursuing it west out of Arma only to lose sight of it as well. At 4:36 am, the vehicle was located by the original deputy on K47 Highway and pursued it eastbound. The suspect vehicle went off the roadway in the 400 block of E. K47 Highway and fled on foot. The suspect was located by deputies hiding in some brush near a residence in the area and taken into custody. Deputies seized a 9mm handgun, two stolen license plates, drugs and drug paraphernalia from the car and the area around it.
The Camaro was found to be a stolen vehicle from Briggs Automotive of Ft. Scott, KS.
The suspect, Tommy John Stofanik, 24 of Pittsburg, KS was booked into the Crawford County Jail on the following charges:
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Flee and Elude
Possession of Stolen Property
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of Hallucinogens
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Bond is set at $10,000 with another bond of $5,000 for Burglary charges out of Frontenac, KS.
Tommy John Stofanik is presumed innocent unless and until the allegations against him are proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The incident remains under investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.