Charges have been filed in three separate police chases that occurred in Platte County in the span of less than a week. Three different individuals face a felony count of resisting a lawful stop, while one woman also picked up a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Judy Montoya, 24, had two children in the car with her during a high-speed chase that ended in an accident.
A Birmingham, Ala. man faces a second felony for assaulting a police officer.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, a Ferrelview Police Department officer attempted to stop a black Pontiac Bonneville for defective equipment in the area of NW Cookingham Drive. The driver initially stopped and gave verbal identification in the absence of a license, and he had two other individuals in the car.
While the officer returned to his patrol car, the vehicle took off and reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour in a chase that went to NW Ambassador drive and ended in a business park east of Interstate 29.
According to court documents, the suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Luis Pagan of Kansas City, Mo., fled on foot down into a creek embankment. The Missouri State Highway Patrol apprehended him the next day while he attempted to flag down motorists, asking for a ride.
On Sunday, Jan. 24, a Platte County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to stop a white Cadillac CTS with expired plates at about 11:30 p.m. traveling north on I-29 The vehicle fled twice, eventually exiting onto Z Highway and reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour while traveling toward U.S. Highway 169, according to court documents.
The driver, later identified as Montoya, then went north on 169, turning off the headlights and crashing south of E Highway in southern Buchanan County. The vehicle came to rest on its side, and the deputy apprehended Montoya before observing two minor children, ages 5 and 3, secured inside.
Under questioning, Montoya, a resident of Kansas City, Mo., said she fled due to an expired driver’s license and admitted to having drank “several shots of moonshine” at a friend’s house that night. She went out to drive the kids around in hopes of getting them to sleep after they refused to go to bed.
About three hours after the crash, Montoya performed poorly on a field sobriety test and registered a .076 blood alcohol level. A check of court records showed a prior DWI conviction.
Less than 12 hours later, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper observed a gray Chevy Trailblazer with the rear window broken out traveling north on I-29 near Barry Road. The Alabama registration on the plates was expired.
The driver exited at Amity Avenue, came to a stop and exited the vehicle to question the reason for the stop. He gave three different false names and eventually told the trooper he would have just ran from him if he knew the stop would be such an issue.
The trooper eventually attempted to place the driver under arrest for lack of a valid license. He didn’t comply and eventually started to run away with a foot chase ensuing that involved the officer and two passersby.
The driver then claimed to have a gun and reached for his waistband, then displaying his hand underneath a stocking cap threatening to shoot. According to a probable cause statement, the trooper had performed and a patdown and knew his claim of having a gun was false.
Identified as 51-year-old Robert English of Birmingham, the subject escaped into the woods but was later located in a nearby field and taken into custody more than two hours after the original traffic stop. English had a felony warrant out of Alabama and told officers at the Platte County Detention Center to shoot and kill him so he didn’t have to go back to jail. He also said a crack pipe might have been in the Trailblazer.
All three individuals involved in the chases remain in custody in lieu of various bond amounts. Montoya and Pagan are being held on $10,000 cash-only bonds, while English’s is set at $50,000 with the two felony charges pending.