Dangerous police pursuit starts in rural Platte County, goes through interstate work zone

A Kansas City, Mo. man was charged after allegedly leading police on a lengthy and potentially dangerous pursuit through rural Platte County.

According to court documents, Derrick Smith, 28, faces a felony charge for resisting a lawful stop and misdemeanors for assault and making a false report. The latter charges stem from trying to drive his car into a Platte County Sheriff’s Office deputy at the end of the chase and for twice giving a false identity once in custody.

Derrick Smith

Derrick Smith

According to court documents, deputies spotted a silver Dodge Caravan traveling westbound on Highway 92 near Platte City at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21. The vehicle matched the description of one wanted in a different investigation, and dispatch had advised it might be in the area.

After observing several lane violations, deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop.

Instead, the van turned southbound onto Bethel road and increased speed. When the pursuit reached Prairie View Road, the vehicle drove off the road into a field where it continued to drive in circles. 

Deputies stopped on the roadway while the van continued to drive in circles before driving toward a deputy, who was forced to jump out of the way. The deputy observed the driver to be an unknown black male, later identified as Smith, with no other occupants seen inside.

The van returned to the roadway and drove southbound on Prairie View Road at a high rate of speed. The rear passenger tire took damage and began to come off of the vehicle before the van turned eastbound onto Mexico City Avenue in the westbound lane and nearly struck another vehicle head-on. 

The suspect then entered northbound Interstate 29 where the deputy advised dispatch to contact the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to have workers clear the area. There was a large MoDOT presence for overnight surfacing work at the time.

The vehicle entered a work zone and struck several construction lane cones while driving in the closed down lane, almost striking the MoDOT vehicles before driving back into the proper lane and exiting the work zone. 

Continuing on I-29, the van reached the Highway E exit for Camden Point, Mo. deputies were able to successfully deploy tire deflation devices. The van exited there and struck a guard rail, causing airbags to deploy.

Briefly, the vehicle went back onto I-29 before coming to a stop.

According to court documents, a black male then exited from the driver’s side door and started to walk away. Deputies ordered the suspect to stop and get on the ground, and he complied.

The suspect was taken into custody and identified himself as Ryan Wright. When deputies questioned how old he was, Wright stated he was 16 after giving a birth year of 1987. 

The man also stated that he was not the driver and that the driver got away. 

After being taken to the Platte County Detention, deputies asked Wright what his name was and he identified himself as 30-year-old Ryan Grigsby, born in 1968. Detention staff later discovered the suspect’s real identity.