Pursuit and Arrest February 13, 2014

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TO:  All Media

DATE:  February 14, 2014

FOR:  Immediate Release

RE: Vehicle pursuit and arrest


On February 13, 2014 at 3:06 p.m. Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies entered into a pursuit of a vehicle at US 171 Hwy and 260 Street.  The vehicle, a 1989 Chevrolet truck was reported as a stolen vehicle and was being pursued by Jasper County, Missouri Deputies.  Missouri authorities began their pursuit near  Carl Junction, Missouri.


The suspected driver, Joe Bob Green, 32 of Joplin, Missouri turned north onto 260th Street and continued to flee and elude law enforcement.  2 unsuccessful attempts were made by deputies to deflate the vehicle’s tires before a 3rd successful attempt.  While deputies were deploying tire deflation devices the driver swerved toward them in an attempt to strike them with the truck or prevent them from successful deployment.


After the successful deployment the driver was able to turn east on 620 Avenue then north on 270 Street.  In another attempt to evade law enforcement, the driver turned the truck onto a Kansas City Southern Railroad right of way.  The driver eventually came to a stop approximately one-half mile down the tracks where he fled on foot across the state line into Missouri.  During the pursuit on the right of way, a Kansas City Southern train approached from the north.  The train’s engineer had to come to an emergency stop to avoid injuring Green or the pursuing deputies.


During the search involving Crawford County Sheriff, Barton County Missouri Sheriff, Kansas Highway Patrol, Arma Police and Mulberry Police personnel, Green surrendered himself by approaching a property owner in the area asking him to contact law enforcement.


Green had injuries associated with the pursuit and was transported by ambulance to a Missouri hospital. Crawford County has no information which Missouri jail Green is being held in.  His charges and bond amount in Missouri is unknown.  Green’s Kansas charges will include Fleeing and Eluding, Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer and reckless driving.  Railroad officials have asked that Green be charged with Criminal Trespass for driving onto the railroad right of way.


The incident remains under investigation.

Hypothermia Victim January 6, 2014

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TO:  All Media

FROM:  Sheriff Dan Peak

DATE:  January 6, 2014

FOR:  Immediate Release

RE: Hypothermia Victim



On January 6, 2014 at 6:55 a.m., Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 2408 W. 4th Street in rural Pittsburg regarding an individual lying on the ground near the house at that address.


The homeowner, John Thompson, Jr. told deputies that he found the subject, identified as Colter Steffens, 26 of Pittsburg, lying on the ground when he returned home from work at approximately 6:50 a.m.  When deputies arrived, the homeowner had covered Steffens up in an attempt to warm him from apparent exposure to snow, ice and the extremely cold temperatures.  Deputies were able to move Steffens indoors where they continued the warming methods.


It is unknown how long Steffens had been exposed to the elements prior to being found.  Steffens was transported by Crawford County EMS to Via Christi Medical Center in serious condition.  Deputies continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.


Pair of Vehicle Pursuits

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TO:  All Media

DATE:  December 31, 2013

FOR:  Immediate Release

RE:  Pair of vehicle pursuits


On December 29, 2103 a Crawford County Deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle near the area of 570 Avenue and 190 Street.   The driver, operating a 1996 Honda Accord registered to James Stroud of Girard, attempted to flee and elude the deputy.

The pursuit continued until the driver failed to stop at two stop signs in the area, at which time the deputy called off the pursuit for safety purposes.    The deputy continued to track the vehicle and was able to locate it near the area of US 69 Hwy and 570 Avenue where it stopped.  The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot.   He was located after jumping in a pond in an attempt to evade deputies.

The driver, Jason E. Rakestraw, 32 of Pittsburg was taken into custody and transported to the Crawford County Jail.  His charges include:  Warrant for Probation Violation; Warrant for Failure to Appear;  Felony Flee or Elude; No liability insurance; Driving while Suspended; Failure to wear Seat Belt; Reckless Driving; No registration.  Bond total is $6500.

A female passenger in Rakestraw’s vehicle, identified as Chantelle N. Thurman, 22 of Pittsburg was also taken into custody.  Her charges are: Interference/Obstruction with an Law Enforcement Officer.  Bond is $2000.


On December 30, 2013 a Crawford County Deputy attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle on 540 Avenue near the area of 190 Street.  The vehicle, a 2004 Suzuki SUV driven by Rodger D Colborn, 55 of Pittsburg, failed to stop for the deputy.  Colborn continued on K126 Hwy east toward Pittsburg, where the deputy terminated the pursuit for safety purposes.

The deputy tracked Colborn to Bo’s One Stop lot located at 4th Street and US 69 Bypass.  Colborn was taken into custody for Fleeing.  Colborn was also faces drug charges after deputies found what is believed to be methamphetamine and marijuana in Colborn’s vehicle.  Bond total is $6000.


Arrest December 16, 2013

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On December 16, 2013 at 10:11 a.m. Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to KKOW radio station 1162 E. Highway 126 in reference to a female needing assistance.


The female (who will remain unidentified at this time), of rural Pittsburg, KS- reported that she had been held against her will and had been assaulted by her husband over the weekend.  The vicitim alleged that Aaron M. Swink, 29 years of age of rural Pittsburg, physically assaulted her over the course of the weekend beginning Saturday December 14, 2013.  The victim also alleged that Swink had fired a handgun inside the residence on Sunday December 15, 2013.


The victim advised that she was able to escape from the home at approximately 9:10 a.m. on December 16 when Swink left her unattended.  She ran from the house and fled in a vehicle with Swink pursuing her on foot, jumping onto the vehicle as she drove away.  Swink eventually fell from the vehicle.


Deputies made a probable cause arrest without incident on Aaron Swink at the Pittsburg Judicial Center where he was to appear in court on an unrelated case.  A search warrant was obtained for the Swink residence.


As a result of the victim’s statements and other evidence obtained, Swink was charged with the following crimes:


Aggravated Kidnapping                                                Bond- $100,000

Aggravated Sexual Battery                                          Bond- $25,000

Aggravated Assault                                                         Bond- $5,000

Distribution of Controlled Substance                     Bond- $7,500

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia                            Bond- $2,000

Domestic Battery                                                             Bond- $2,000


Drug Arrest November 27, 2013

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DATE:  December 2, 2013


On November 27, 2013 at 11:03 p.m., Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Kansas/Missouri state line on US 160 Hwy in reference to a vehicle pursuit in which Barton County, MO Sheriff’s Office was involved.  Reports from Barton County Sheriff indicated the driver of the fleeing vehicle had possibly threatened someone with a handgun.


Barton County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle into Kansas.  The driver continued to flee before losing control of the vehicle in the area of 570 Ave and 250 St, where he fled on foot.  After a brief search, the suspect was located and taken into custody by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.  The suspect was identified as James Donald Russian, 56 of Pittsburg.


While an inventory of Russian’s vehicle was being conducted, deputies discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia, which, along with information from Barton County Sheriff’s Office, led to the issuance of a search warrant on Russian’s residence at 503 W. Kansas Apt #2, Pittsburg.


The search yielded numerous packages of marijuana; methamphetamine; ingredients commonly used in the production of methamphetamine; a handgun and over $23,000 in cash.


Russian’s charges-


Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance

Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Unlawful Possession of Drug Precursors

Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Possession of Methamphetamine

Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Fleeing to Elude


Russian was held on $86,000 bond through Kansas.  It is unknown what charges Russian faces through Missouri.