Police mum on early morning chase
An early-morning pursuit Tuesday involving Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis ended with the chased vehicle crashing about eight miles south of town and the fleeing driver escaping on foot.
Mermis confirmed that he was on duty and involved in the chase, but declined to provide any rationale for the out-of-town pursuit, saying the case was still under investigation.
No communications between dispatchers and Mermis were recorded by the newspaper’s system, although Mermis said he was transmitting on a regular law enforcement channel.
Sheriff Robert Craft said dispatchers have a primary channel used for law enforcement communications, but that city departments also have a secondary channel available to them.
The first indication of a pursuit came in a dispatch at 5:23 a.m., saying that a vehicle had gone off the road and struck a tree near 140th and Quail Creek Rds, and mentioning Mermis’s assigned number, 222.
A dispatcher reported in a transmission at 5:31 a.m. that, “222 advised he had stopped at 140th.” The call was acknowledged by Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke.
At 5:33 a.m., Marion ambulance and firefighters were dispatched. Shortly thereafter, the location of the accident was updated to be near 110th and Quail Creek Rds., and the driver was reported to have fled the vehicle.
The ambulance was dismissed en route, while Marion firefighters continued to the scene, as the vehicle was reported to be smoldering. A call to Peabody firefighters was canceled.
Burke and undersheriff David Huntley arrived and initiated a search for the driver, and it is not known if Mermis also participated.
According to Craft, the driver was not found.
Craft and Burke declined to comment on the incident, both indicating the case was Marion’s responsibility.
Last modified Oct. 12, 2017