A Jasper County Sheriff's Deputy was checked out at an area hospital and released after throwing “spike strips” in front of a vehicle being pursued by another deputy late Monday.
Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser declined to release the deputy's name, but said he was only bruised when the driver being pursued spotted him throwing the spike strips and swerved toward him to avoid them.
Two Baxter Springs, Kan., men, Alexander Sousa and Christopher Eiland, both 23, were arrested and are being held in the Jasper County Detention Center in Carthage pending the filing of charges.
Jasper County Sheriff's Capt Derek Walrod said the incident started at 6:49 p.m. Monday, when a deputy spotted a passenger in a vehicle traveling north near the fishing access on Missouri Highway 43 on Center Creek open his door and stick his foot out of the car while the vehicle was still moving.
Walrod said the deputy followed the vehicle because that activity was deemed suspicious, and stopped it as it pulled into the driveway of a home on Center Creek Drive.
The deputy got out and started asking where they were from and what they were doing when the driver gunned the car and fled back to Highway 43 and ran north.
Walrod said the deputy gave chase and a second deputy was in position to the north to use the spike strips.
When the driver spotted the second deputy, he stopped in the road for a second, put his car in reverse and accelerated, ramming the sheriff's patrol car behind him. He then swerved around the spike strips toward the deputy that deployed them and grazed that deputy in the arm and leg.
The vehicle continued north into Barton County with two flat tires.
The two men were taken into custody in Barton County a short time later with the assistance of Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, after they went through a ditch and fence just south of U.S. Highway 160.
Charges being sought against Sousa are two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, driving without a license and numerous traffic tickets.
Charges being sought against Eiland are three counts of resisting arrest and three counts of misdemeanor littering.
Both men are in custody at the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting formal charges from the Jasper County Prosecutors Office.