A man who authorities say fled an Iowa State Patrol trooper on Thursday was later caught, thanks to the trooper's use of technology newly fielded by the patrol.
Trooper Tim Sieleman fired a StarChase GPS transmitter from a launcher in the grill of his Dodge Charger patrol car at the fleeing 2005 Buick LeSabre, allowing Sieleman to end the pursuit but still follow the Buick's movements on a computer.
This led to the arrest of the driver, Sean Richey, 50, less than an hour later in Omaha, Sieleman said.
According to Sieleman:
He spotted the Buick on Council Bluffs' south side about 2:35 p.m., careening through front yards. He would later learn that Richey had picked up an acquaintance, Dusty Boetel, 32, who was fleeing local police on foot.
Sieleman activated his emergency lights, but the Buick sped up instead of pulling over. The trooper accelerated, pulled up behind it and fired the GPS transmitter, sticking the device to the Buick's rear bumper.
Sieleman pulled over, while the Buick kept going. About a mile away, it struck a Chevrolet S-10 pickup. At this point, Richey's passenger jumped from the Buick and ran off. There were no injuries.
Richey kept going, crossing into Omaha on Interstate 480 as authorities in Nebraska and Iowa monitored his movements. He stopped near 42nd and J Streets to pick up a female acquaintance, and there Nebraska state troopers and Omaha police officers nabbed him.
Richey faces myriad charges, including eluding police and leaving the scene of an accident, and numerous traffic violations.
Authorities suspect Boetel of violating his parole.
He was still at large Thursday afternoon.
It is the second successful deployment of a StarChase device by the Iowa trooper. On Oct. 24, Sieleman launched one at a fleeing pickup. Its driver was arrested the next day.