The Belleville Police department is pursuing felony charges against a suspect who led officers late Wednesday night on a car chase across the west end of town.
The suspect, who has not been identified by police pending filing of formal charges, was pulled over at about 11 p.m. near West Main Street and Lebanon Road, according to Detective Sgt. Mark Heffernan. The suspect stopped only briefly before taking off again as the officer who pulled him over got out of his patrol car.
A call went out for assistance and, within minutes, the suspect was being pursued by about a half a dozen cars from the Belleville Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department which offered assistance. The suspect was finally taken into custody about 10 minutes after the chase started on Illinois 161 near its intersection with Frank Scott Parkway.
Heffernan said no one was injured and no police vehicles were damaged in the pursuit. But he said the driver acted recklessly in trying to get away from police and it will likely lead to a felony charge or charges in addition to any charges related to the reason for the original traffic stop.
"I wouldn't necessarily classify it as a "high speed pursuit,'" Heffernan said. "But the individual was reckless in their conduct and was going fast enough to meet the felony threshold" of fleeing at 21 miles an hour or more over the posted speed limit.
Heffernan said the case is still under investigation and would not comment about the reason the suspect was initially pulled over or why he though the suspect had reason to flee.
Police expect to apply for charges with the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office either later Thursday or early Friday.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.