Ultimately, the temptation of driving a stolen Jeep Wrangler in the city limits on Clinton Avenue led to the arrest of a Seymour man who was free on felony parole for less than two weeks.
Late last month, 30-year-old Tandy L. Pickett led local law-enforcement officers on a wild chase that included the aforementioned Jeep, escaping a Taser shot, driving at a very high rate of speed, evading the police and eventually being caught hiding under a stock trailer in a rural field on Sarvis Point Road south of Seymour.
“Basically what happened is that Tandy was driving down the street with his K.C. lights on, blinding every vehicle he met, which generated calls to us,” Cpl. Chase Davis of the Seymour Police Department said. “From that point on, it went from bad to worse ... not just for Tandy, but also for law enforcement and the general safety of anyone who happened to be in his path.”
As a result, Pickett now faces three charges while he remains in county custody at the Webster County Jail in Marshfield.
Last week, he was charged with felony resisting arrest, driving while revoked and failure to have insurance.
“More charges are coming,” Davis said.
“We didn’t learn until after (Pickett’s arrest) that the Jeep he was driving was stolen.”
The chase on Wednesday, June 26, began around 10 p.m. when Officer Skyler McIntosh of the Seymour Police Department received a call about a careless-and-imprudent driver going westbound on Clinton Avenue. When McIntosh stopped the Jeep, he noticed it had no license plates.
“When asked about the license plates and driving with his K.C. lights on, Tandy informed me he had just bought the Jeep and was just out playing,” McIntosh wrote in his probable-cause statement sent to Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser. “I observed Tandy to be very twitchy and unable to remain still ... when I asked Tandy for his driver’s license, he stated he did not have it with him, and when I asked (him) to provide proof of insurance, he stated he didn’t have any.”
That’s when Pickett informed McIntosh that he was on felony parole for assault of a law-enforcement officer.
When McIntosh ordered Pickett to then get out of the Jeep, he started it, put the vehicle in drive and began pulling away.
Also at the scene was Cpl. Alan Goff. McIntosh ordered Pickett to place the vehicle in park and exit the vehicle, an order that was ignored.
“Tandy began driving through the grass area in front of McDonald’s toward U.S. 60,” McIntosh said. “Cpl. Goff then deployed his Taser, which made connection with Tandy’s right arm and the steering wheel.”
Pickett survived the Taser shot, and a chase ensued.
The chase continued eastbound on U.S. 60, then Pickett, who had a female passenger, turned south on Division Street and then to Steel Street, where he drove east, left the paved road on several occasions and eventually escaped down Main Street, heading south.
As Pickett was driving eastbound on four-lane U.S. 60, he was traveling in the westbound lane. He evaded officers by crossing both lanes and climbing a hill on the south side of the highway that came out near Mr. Dent.
During the pursuit, the Seymour police vehicle got stuck following Pickett up the hill.
A local resident informed officers that Pickett was headed south of Seymour on Highway K.
Goff and McIntosh continued their search for Pickett.
Around midnight, Deputy Caleb Essary of the Webster County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the report of a suspicious person on Sarvis Point Road south of Seymour.
A man at the home on the rural road said Pickett had come to his door and rang the doorbell, saying that he had been assaulted but not to call the police.
Not long after that, Essary and McIntosh found Pickett hiding under a stock trailer in a field near the home on Sarvis Point Road. Pickett was taken into custody and transported to the county jail.
Davis said the case doesn’t end with Pickett’s arrest.
“There are other people involved in this crime,” he said.
“Somewhere along the line after he fled Seymour and went south, Tandy ditched the Jeep on Walnut Ridge Road, where some accomplices took the Jeep and hid it.
“It’s been hidden ever since. We know two of the people involved, and I know that there were three people involved in picking up the Jeep.”
Davis said the Jeep’s whereabouts need to be revealed by those responsible.
“These poor people in Springfield who worked hard to buy this Jeep then have it stolen don’t deserve this,” he concluded. “Ultimately, we’re going to find the Jeep. That is going to happen.
“And when it does, everyone who was involved had better come clean by then. If not, we’re looking at a whole lot of felony charges for all of the people involved in this.”
Tips to the Seymour Police Department can be made by calling 417-935-4012. The department also can be contacted via Facebook Messenger through its social-media page.