Man arrested after vehicle chase with child in vehicle

A man who was wanted in Illinois was arrested in McCracken County on Tuesday after leading law enforcement on a chase with a child in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s department. 

The Pope County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office contacted the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday, saying 27-year-old Matthew Werner of Golconda, Illinois, might be at Barkley Regional Airport to return a rental vehicle. Werner just received an eight year sentence for residential burglary, but he didn’t return after he received a short furlough. 

McCracken County deputies say an airport police officer tried to detain Werner at the airport around 4 p.m., and the two scuffled. Deputies say Werner tried to take the officer’s gun before fleeing in a silver Pontiac Grand Prix. Airport spokesman Eddie Grant says the officer sustained minor bruises in the scuffle. No flights were delayed by the incident at the airport. 

Deputies found the vehicle about 5 minutes later headed east on Lightfoot Road.

Deputies say Werner led the chase onto Mayfield Metropolis Road, over to U.S. 62, onto Blandville Road and to the Fisher Road intersection. There, deputies say Werner pulled onto a gravel lot where he was blocked by three sheriff’s department vehicles. Werner rammed on of the vehicles to try to get away, deputies say, but he was then blocked in by another deputy. 

Werner got out of the Pontiac and allegedly tried to hit the deputies before he was subdued and taken into custody. Three deputies sustained minor injuries that the sheriff’s department says did not require medical attention. 

A 3-month-old baby was found in the back seat of the vehicle in a child safety seat. The child was not injured, but was taken to Lourdes hospital to be checked. Investigators found out that Werner is the child’s father. The Kentucky Department of Families and Children was notified. 

Deputies say an open container of alcohol was found in the vehicle, and methamphetamine was found with Werner. 

Werner was charged with: 

Fugitive from justice for escape
Third degree assault on a police officer (airport police officer)
Attempting to disarm a police officer (airport police officer)
Two counts of first degree fleeing or evading 
First degree wanton endangerment for an infant in a vehicle
Reckless driving
Two counts of third degree assault on deputies
First degree wanton endangerment of the deputy in the vehicle Werner allegedly tried to ram
First degree possession of methamphetamine

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