Bellevue cop gets $25 ticket during chase

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:00 am

A police pursuit for a man ended with a Bellevue officer ticketed after his cruiser slid on ice and hit two vehicles.

Officer Jason Melrose was patrolling Swanson Park Jan. 30 when he spotted a lone red Volkswagen Jetta.

Melrose thought it was unusual to see a car at the park because it was a snowy day and the lot is generally vacant of vehicles around 11:30 a.m., according to police.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed movement in the back seat and witnessed a man spring to the driver’s seat. An unidentified female remained in the back seat.

Melrose suspected the two were having sex, and he wanted to confirm the woman was of age and had given consent. The man refused to identify himself and drove off.

The officer radioed a pursuit and followed the vehicle on SP Benson Drive toward Cornhusker Road.

Melrose used his emergency lights and siren as he headed south on SP Benson Drive. He attempted to stop at Cornhusker Road to check for traffic, but slid. His vehicle travelled into the intersection and was struck by two westbound vehicles.

The officer was taken to the Bellevue Medical Center, where he was treated and released. The other two drivers weren’t injured.

A Sarpy County Sheriff’s deputy cited Melrose for failure to yield. He will appear in court, where he faces a $25 fine.

The department’s Pursuit Review Committee will review the incident and decide whether all police department policies were followed to determine whether administrative discipline is necessary, said Capt. Chuck Clark.

Bellevue police later found the suspect, who was identified as Denzel Saulter, 19, of Bellevue. He refused to identify the female and said the sex was consensual.

Saulter was arrested on charges of willful reckless driving and flight to avoid arrest. He was released from jail later that day after posting $500, or 10 percent of his $5,000 bond, said Sarpy County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Williamson.

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