PITTSBURG, Kan — An attempted traffic stop early Sunday morning led to two arrests, following an extended pursuit of one suspect who was eventually found hiding under a house.
At about 6:42 a.m., a Crawford County sheriff's deputy on routine patrol witnessed a vehicle stopped in the roadway in the area of 250th Street and 570th Ave., according to a sheriff’s office press release.
All of the occupants were out of the vehicle, but quickly got into the vehicle and proceeded to leave the area. The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver failed to stop and a pursuit ensued.
During the pursuit, one of the passengers allegedly jumped from the moving vehicle and was seen running in the area east of Free King Highway and K-126 Highway.
The vehicle pursuit continued and ended a short time later at the intersection of Free King Highway and K-126 Highway. The female driver identified as Elissa Sturgell, 20, was arrested for felony fleeing and eluding. The other passenger was questioned and released, according to the sheriff’s office.
The subject that jumped from the vehicle was identified as Justin Collins, 35, who was confirmed as having active felony warrants out of Kansas and Missouri.
Authorities deployed drones to assist in locating Collins. Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) air assets were also in the area and assisted in the search.
During Collins’ attempt to elude law enforcement, he allegedly stole two bicycles and attempted to steal an ATV from nearby homes. Later that afternoon, Collins knocked on the door of a residence, and the owner immediately called the sheriff’s office.
With help from citizens in the neighborhood, nearby law enforcement officers responded and eventually located Collins hiding under a house. Collins was arrested and transported to Ascension Via Christi Hospital for medical evaluation. He was treated and released Monday morning and was transported to the Crawford County Jail.
Both arrestees are presumed innocent unless and until the allegations against them are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, the sheriff’s office noted in its press release. Sheriff Danny Smith said Monday that initial reports that four suspects were involved in the pursuit were incorrect.
In addition to the KHP, the Pittsburg Police Department responded and assisted with the incident.