Two Sikeston men arrested after chase on Interstate 55

Sunday, October 18, 2009

BENTON, Mo. -- Two Sikeston, Mo., men were in the Scott County Jail on Friday morning after leading Scott County deputies on a chase.

Harvee Pratcher, 21, and Maurice E. Newman, 23, are charged with two counts of second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest by fleeing and stealing. Bond is set at $100,000 each.

According to a news release from the Scott County Sheriff's Department, the incident began Wednesday when Pratcher and Newman left Boomland in Benton without paying for gas. Sheriff's department Capt. Gregg Ourth was at the business, and employees informed him of the

incident.

Ourth followed the vehicle south of Interstate 55, conducting a vehicle stop near the 78 mile marker. When Ourth attempted to take Pratcher into custody, Pratcher broke loose, got back in his vehicle and fled.

As the officer pursued the vehicle south on Interstate 55, the suspect vehicle crossed the median and traveled south in the northbound lane, then turned, fleeing north on the interstate.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter joined the pursuit of the vehicle.

During the chase, Pratcher made numerous attempts to strike Walter's and Ourth's vehicles.

Two officers with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety joined the chase, pursuing the vehicle up the ramp to Highway 77 at the Benton exit. The suspect vehicle continued south on Highway 77 for a short distance, then stopped in the highway. Pratcher attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended by a deputy arriving on the scene. Newman was taken into custody at the vehicle.

According to the sheriff's department, Pratcher's vehicle is described as the suspect vehicle in numerous gasoline thefts in the area during the past week.

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