A Cape Girardeau County traffic stop that began Monday night with a report of a possible drunken driver ended a short time later with the arrest of an Illinois man who at one point was listed among his state's most wanted fugitives.
John E. Beck, 52, of Quincy, Ill., was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol about 8:30 p.m. and charged with operating a vehicle with a revoked license and driving while intoxicated, according to the patrol's preliminary report. A conviction in the new alcohol-related driving offense would bring Beck's total at least to four, a search of Illinois court records revealed.
On Monday, the arresting trooper also discovered Beck had two outstanding felony warrants in Illinois, one that charges him with assaulting a minor on Nov. 19, 2010 in Adams County. Beck also failed to register as a sex offender, the second charge alleges, tagging him with the legal label that has required him to register since a 2006 conviction of three counts of unlawfully restraining a minor.
An online search of Illinois State Police most-wanted lists also unearthed an undated poster that includes Beck. Court clerks in two Illinois counties confirmed that Beck was being sought by police to face the charges after evading police for two years.
Beck was being held Tuesday at the Cape Girardeau County Jail without bond awaiting police transport to Illinois.
The patrol did not identify the arresting officer, as is its policy aimed at protected its troopers, said Trooper Clark Parrott, spokesman for Southeast Missouri's Troop E. The precise location of the arrest was not readily available Tuesday, Parrott said.
Beck was taken into custody without incident, but not all stops of fugitives end that way.
In September, for example, a trooper's attempt at a traffic stop in Stoddard County led to a high-speed pursuit that lasted 10 miles and ended when the suspect lost control and crashed his vehicle near Parma, Mo. The driver turned out to be an Iowa fugitive who had escaped from Fort Madison State Penitentiary.
"With us, there is no routine traffic stop," Parrott said. "It can go in a handbasket that quick."
Thirty Missouri troopers have died in the line of duty since the patrol's inception.