Troopers Chase Down Stolen Vehicle
A man in a stolen vehicle led Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers on a high-speed chase north of Casper on Christmas Eve. Highway Patrol Sgt. Stephen Townsend says it started when a trooper clocked the man driving 92 mph on Interstate 25, just past the northern outskirts of town.
Almost traffic stop:
"As he was pulling it over, dispatch advised him that the vehicle was stolen, and about that time the vehicle took off, the driver apparently not wanting to be stopped by law enforcement."
Townsend said Thomas W. Clark, 29, from Tennessee, reportedly sped off northbound, toward where a trooper had deployed a spike strip, but Clark drove around the spike strip and may have attempted to run over the trooper.
First evasion of stop sticks:
"A trooper attempted to lay down some spike strips about 28 miles north of where this started. He laid the spike strips across the interstate. The individual driving the stolen car went around the spike strips and then attempted to drive over the trooper, who was out of his car at the time."
Clark continued up I-25 until he exited the interstate on state Highway 387, and then Clark doubled back on Highway 259, where another trooper had a second line of spike strips, which Clark also drove around, but the second time getting bogged down in the mud. The trooper also shot out a rear tire to disable the vehicle.
Second evasion of stop sticks:
"This second set of stop sticks that he attempted to drive around, well, that he did drive around, that resulted in the troopers firing shots at the vehicle, at the rear tires as he went by. And that seemed to work. They did flatten one of the tires by gunfire. There was actually another rear tire that was flat, and they're still investigating whether or not that was as the result of gunfire."
Townsend said Clark was arrested without further incident and faces charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, vehicular eluding, driving under the influence, and possession of stolen property. Those charges will be pursued by the Natrona County District Attorney's Office and the investigation is ongoing.