Sexual abuse suspect led police on chase through Platte City

Reports of a potential sexual abuse led to a lengthy car pursuit when the suspect fled the scene after Platte City Police Department officers arrived to arrest the suspect at his home.

Officers were first informed of the alleged sexual assault after meeting with the alleged victim Thursday, May 11 at Platte County R-3 High School. The Division of Children’s Services and police interviewed her there. 

Matthew Harrold

Matthew Harrold

According to court documents, the victim told police that Matthew Harrold, 42 of Platte City, had exposed himself, touched her inappropriately and made lewd comments in front of her between 2014 and 2015. Harrold was her mother’s boyfriend and shared their home in Platte City.

On the way to the residence that day, an officer noticed Harrold’s blue Toyota Tacoma truck driving away in the area.

Harrold allegedly increased speeds and ran a stop sign at Second and Academy streets before winding his way through residential Platte City, according to court documents. At the time, the school bus routes were going, and the Platte County R-3 School District issued an alert about the pursuit to inform parents of the situation.

At two different occasions, Harrold went around school buses, nearly causing an accident the second time on Kentucky Avenue according to court documents.

The pursuit continued until reaching the Methodist Church on N Highway where the suspect bailed out of the truck and ran into the wooded area west of the church. A search of the area resulted in negative results for locating Harrold. 

On Friday, May 12, officers responded to the residence on Mill street where Harrold had returned. Law enforcement found Harrold there at about 6:30 a.m. and took him into custody. 

Harrold remains in custody at the Platte County Detention Center in lieu of a $35,000 cash-only bond, facing a felony charge of resisting arrest by fleeing and causing risk to others and a misdemeanor for sexual misconduct. Terms of his bail, if posted, would be to not have contact with anyone under the age of 18 years as part of his bail.