A chase through Greene County yesterday ended in the arrest of a wanted man from Missouri.
The man involved was Jesse V. Dorris, age 47, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who was wanted in Pemiscot County, Missouri for Theft of a Motor Vehicle. The warrant entry listed him as being armed and dangerous, and having a history of being physically violent and resisting arrest.
We spoke with Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen about the chase, who explains how his department became involved in the pursuit.
“We were notified by the Jerseyville Police Department that they had stopped a vehicle that then fled the scene and they pursued it. They told us that they had terminated their pursuit and that the vehicle was last seen traveling northbound on US 67 towards Greene County from Jerseyville. We just so happened to have a Deputy Sheriff in the southern part of our county at the time, and moments later he observed the vehicle that Jerseyville PD had alerted us about pass him,” says McMillen
That Greene County Deputy Sheriff then began to follow the vehicle. At this time, Carrollton Police began coordinating with the Greene County Sheriff’s department to position themselves ahead of the vehicle on US 67. However, Dorris sped up at the site of Carrollton police cars in front of him and passed the Carrollton cars while nearly hitting another motorist head on.
The pursuit continued west on SR 108, with the top speed around 80 miler per hour. The pursuit passed the Village of Eldred, and continued westbound towards the Illinois River.
Dorris slowed down to about 60 miles per hour as he continued west. He then came upon the Kampsville Ferry landing that crosses the Illinois River, stopped briefly seeing that the Kampsville Ferry was not on the Greene County side, then accelerated, running the vehicle into the Illinois River.
The vehicle floated for a brief time before beginning to sink. Dorris then emerged from the vehicle and began swimming towards the Calhoun County side of the river to a campground in Kampsville where he once again tried to flee. According to McMillen, a citizen then gave pursuing officers a ride across the river on a personal boat.
McMillen explains what happened from there.
“There was a foot pursuit in the campground and (Dorris) ended up ascertaining an unoccupied pickup truck which just so happened to have the keys in it. In his recklessness, (Dorris) did brush up against and almost ran over one of the police officers on scene. At that time, my Deputy Sheriff was able to discharge a round into the rear tire of the vehicle in an attempt to disable it,” McMillen explains.
A citizen connected to the pickup truck Dorris had stolen moments earlier then offered their vehicle to the police officers to follow Dorris. The police officers were attempting to catch up to Dorris when they met up with a Calhoun County Deputy Sheriff responding to the scene. The pursuit then left Kampsville, with Dorris traveling north on State Route 100 towards Pike County.
Dorris then entered into Pike County, where deputies from the Pike County Sheriff’s Department entered into pursuit. Dorris then turned east onto State Route 106 at Detroit in Pike County. Shortly after that, a Pike County Deputy Sheriff made contact with Dorris, forcing the suspect and the stolen truck into the ditch, finally ending the pursuit at approximately 2:50 p.m.
McMillen says that he wants to thank the citizens that aided police during the chase.
“It shows the community is supporting law enforcement. Private citizens offering assistance with their boat, and then a citizen in the campground offering officers, who were on foot at the time, a vehicle to chase him down. It just kind of shows you how supportive the citizens are of law enforcement,” says McMillen.
Dorris was taken to Illini Hospital in Pittsfield where he was treated for minor injuries and later released to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. The suspect was then transported to the Greene County Jail, where he is currently lodged.
In Greene County, Dorris is facing charges of Aggravating Fleeing and Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Speeding, multiple charges of Disobeying Traffic Control Devices, Driving with a Revoked License, and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. Charges against Dorris from other counties are still unclear. Dorris’ bond has not been set at this time. .