Search continues for suspect accused of dragging deputy, officer during traffic stop

LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) – A Clay County Sheriff’s deputy and a Liberty police officer were dragged by a suspect in his vehicle in Liberty Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect’s cell phone pinged near Belvoir Winery just off of Highway 291. The property has three large vacant buildings that are described as a complicated maze. A security guard for the winery had to help police wind their way room by room with no luck.

A man running from police ditched a white Ford F-150 on Crimson Lane.

The deputy and the officer have been checked out and are Okay.

The incident occurred during a traffic stop near Claywoods Parkway and White Oak. An officer tried to pull over the man’s white Ford truck. Police say he immediately tried to speed away from the officers, and wound up dragging a deputy and an officer.

“I don’t know if the deputy was reaching inside the vehicle or just on the side, but was somehow attached to the vehicle,” Captain Will Aiken with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department said.

Officers have not said what prompted them to stop the suspect.

“We have no reason to believe the suspect is armed. However, he just dragged one of our deputies, so let’s treat it as such,” Aiken said.

As the search intensified, a dad came face-to-face with the suspect behind his house in a wooded area. He asked not to be identified.

“I heard the leaves crunching in the trees behind us and I kind of froze…I looked to my left and that’s when I saw him saw him. I hollered at the police officers to come down and they gave chase,” the man said.

Officers chased the suspect into a wooded area, but could not capture him. They quickly set up a perimeter and had officers patrolling up and down the street searching for the man. They also used canines and had armed officers making a line and sweeping through the woods hoping to spot the man.

About 5:30 p.m. police pinged the suspect’s phone in the area of Belvoir Winery. They went room to room.

“There can be three to four wings in each building so there are a lot of rooms they’ll have to check,” said Jesse Leimkuehler, the CEO of Belvoir.  

Eventually police cleared the old buildings and expanded their search. Many parents like Carolyn Money had to have a talk with their kids after the events unfolded.  

“As all of us were ushering our children straight into the house after school the kids wanted to know, ‘Why can’t we go out and play?’  I just told them, ‘Look, there is a guy police are searching for, he is in trouble. We are going to stay inside so police can do their job,’” she said.  

Officers are searching for a white male in his 20s who was wearing blue jeans and a grey and orange hooded sweatshirt.

As of 10 p.m. officials said they’ve left the area and are following leads elsewhere because they believe the suspect has moved on.

They continue to look for the suspect, but their activity is not as strong as it was earlier in the day.

They say if you see him, do not approach, and instead immediately call 911.

They are asking people in the neighborhood to keep their doors and windows locked.