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40-mile, 130-mph chase ends in arrest

Staff writer

A 40-mile-long chase through three counties at speeds of up to 130 mph began at 6:36 p.m. Monday on US-50 between Florence and Peabody and ended 24 minutes later with the arrest of a 19-year-old Arizona man just north of Hesston.

Deputy Josh Meliza began pursuing a silver 2009 Mercedes-Benz sedan westbound from Turkey Creek Rd. at a speed indicated by radar as 129 mph.

“They are movin’!” deputy Landis Goodman radioed after he and Peabody police officer Joshua Wilson joined the chase.

The Mercedes, with no license plate, turned north on Pawnee Rd., going 86 mph on the gravel road as it passed 80th Rd. It then turned west onto 90th Rd. and south onto Old Mill Rd.

According to monitored police transmissions, a northbound car was forced to the side of the road as the Mercedes and pursuing law enforcement officers passed.

Deputies wanted Wilson, who looped around and was waiting at Nighthawk Rd. and US-50, to set out a tire-flattening strip, but he said he didn’t have one.

The Mercedes was traveling at 130 mph as it passed East Lake Rd. (Indigo Rd. extended) and as it went through busy intersections in Walton. Deputies reported that it was passing vehicles on the right.

A Harvey County deputy who joined the pursuit attempted to set up a tire-flattening strip at Oliver Rd. and US-50 two miles southwest of Walton, but the driver turned north on Woodlawn Rd. a mile before he reaching that point.

The Mercedes continued west of NE 60th St., a mainly shoulder-less backtop road, at speeds in excess of 120 mph. Goodman and Wilson reported that multiple vehicles were being passed on the right.

The car then turned north on K-15, returning to Marion County at speeds reported as being between 122 and 130 mph before turning west on 90th Rd. toward McPherson County, running a stop sign to turn south on 27th Ave., heading toward Hesston.

A Harvey County deputy again attempted to set up a tire-flattening strip in Hesston.

Seeing the road blocked with tire strips across it at a bridge over I-135, and with numerous squad cars chasing him, the driver pulled over at 6:59 p.m. north of town.

Multiple deputies converged on the car and took Josiah P. Tzolov, 19, of New River, Arizona, into custody on suspicion of fleeing law enforcement, reckless driving, driving with an expired license, and removing or destroying a vehicle identification number.

He was being held Tuesday in Marion County jail in lieu of $5,000 surety bond.

Meliza’s drug-sniffing dog, Karma, indicated an odor of drugs in the car, according to monitored transmissions, but no drugs were found in the car, Undersheriff Larry Starkey said.

Two different vehicle identification numbers were checked because the actual VIN was covered with a paper listing a different number. Neither was listed as having a registered owner.

Sheriff’s sergeant Travis Wilson checked eight Minnesota, one Arizona, and one California license plates discovered in the trunk. None were reported as stolen or wanted.

Sheriff Jeff Soyez joined the scene shortly after the vehicle stopped.

Last modified July 28, 2022

 

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