Dramatic Police Chase Ends with 2 Arrests | News
LAS VEGAS -- A wild police chase traversed the valley Friday afternoon and ended safely and successfully with two arrests. Chopper 8 followed the suspects' truck as it weaved in and out of traffic at speeds topping 100 miles per hour. The dramatic ending was carried live only on 8 News NOW.
The driver of the Chevrolet truck was desperate to evade police - speeding and squeezing between cars and weaving in and out of traffic. The chase traveled from Las Vegas to Henderson to the outskirts of Boulder City.
"This suspect drove at speeds we estimate to be well in excess of 100 miles an hour up on the expressway," said Metro Police Officer Bill Cassell. "This individual drove at speeds between 50 and 90 miles an hour on surface streets, endangering the lives of citizens, endangering the lives of officers."
Investigators say the suspects were seen at around 1:45 p.m. stealing air conditioning units from a vacant home in Peccole Ranch. As police arrived there, a Metro helicopter spotted the truck fleeing the scene.
"I'm sure kind of shocked that it started right outside in front of our house," said neighbor Katie Morrissey.
Metro followed the truck from the air for almost two hours, as the suspects tried to escape. Patrol vehicles kept a safe distance.
"There was probably a cumulative three or four minutes at the absolute most, maybe not even that much, when officers were actually behind this vehicle with lights and sirens on, attempting to get him to pull over," Cassell said.
The criminals hit the gas and kept going for an additional 150 miles. At one point, the truck exited U.S. 95 for Tropicana Avenue. An officer tried to flatten the truck's tires.
"I counted fifteen, eighteen times when they got stop sticks out there trying to get this guy stopped, and every time, he managed to avoid the stop sticks," Cassell said.
The truck raced down Tropicana, squeezing between a white car and silver truck, knocking off mirrors. This led to a collision with a car in the middle of the intersection.
The truck kept going, jumped over a median and made its way to Boulder Highway where it cruised down a bus lane.
A few minutes later, the driver pulled into the Boulder Station casino, speeding through the parking lot and into the parking garage. Amazingly, the vehicle made it out of the garage, driving right by officers.
With the truck back on the road and running red lights, police - in pursuit on the ground - saw an opportunity to stop the suspect using a PIT maneuver. Instead, the truck made a U-turn near Stewart Avenue and Lamb Boulevard, and the police cruiser cornered the truck.
Enrique Malfavon watched the dramatic drive come to a crashing conclusion.
"We heard an engine revving up. We looked up and it was a police car. It was like a huge boom," he said. "They were yelling at him. They actually just pulled him out of the car, threw him on the ground. Everybody got on top of him."
A dog bolted from the truck. Police arrested the driver, 30-year-old Christopher Sheppard, and another suspect, 38-year-old Ryan Donnelly, who exited the truck and fled on foot 30 minutes into the pursuit.
A female passenger was questioned, but has not yet been charged. The female and Sheppard requested medical treatment and were sent to the hospital.
Sheppard is charged with evading a police vehicle. Police charged Donnelly for possession of drugs without a prescription, obstructing a police officer and failing to register a change of address as a known sex offender.
Both men are scheduled to appear before a judge early Saturday morning.