Illinois chase ends in Missouri with Florida suspect in custody

Friday, July 15, 2005

BERTRAND - A Florida man is in custody after a two-and-a-half-hour chase that began in Illinois and ended in Missouri.

"Just before 6 this morning we ended a pursuit near Bertrand on Interstate 57," said Sgt. Larry Plunkett, public information officer for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "We were contacted by authorities from Illinois that indicated the pursuit was going to enter our state."

According to the Williamson County (Illinois) Sheriff's Department, the incident began in Williamson County when Richard Alan Perman, 46, from Orlando, Fla., stopped at a Marion, Ill., gas station.

Perman reportedly told the attendant that he was on his way to shoot some people at a college.

A few minutes later, Perman attempted to run into a Marion Police Department car with his SUV. The suspect refused to stop for police officers, initiating the pursuit.

Perman fled north on Interstate 57 to Benton, Ill., where he turned around and traveled southbound in the northbound lane for a short time, continuing southbound to around the post 35 of I-57 where he turned around again.

The suspect then drove to West Frankfort where he exited the interstate.

Perman returned to the interstate and after several other "flip-flops" continued southbound past Charleston to the Bertrand area after several attempts to disable the vehicle in Illinois failed.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol placed tire deflation devices at two locations on I-57, one of which was successful in slowing the vehicle.

The suspect exited the vehicle before it was stopped near Bertrand, jumping out when the vehicle was going about 30 mph.

"During an attempt to flee the scene the subject was injured," Plunkett said. "While the extent of his injuries are unknown, they are believed to be fairly serious and he is being treated at an area hospital."

Plunkett said the MSHP will work with Illinois authorities if any extradition is necessary. As far as charges here, "most of them are traffic related in the State of Missouri," he said. "We're just grateful no other motorists were injured and that the equipment worked as designed."

According to the Williamson Sheriff's Department, on July 14, Perman had left his family at a gas station in Mt. Vernon, Ill., after driving off with the pump hose still attached to his vehicle. Perman was reportedly traveling from North Dakota to Florida.

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