HIGH SPEED PURSUIT ENDS IN ARREST, FELONY CHARGE
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
Charges have been filed against Lopez Zepeda Yeson Edurado, a 24-year-old from Guatemala following a high-speed chase through Freeman, south of town and then north on Highway 81 earlier this month.
Edurado has been charged with aggravated eluding — a felony — and obstruction — a misdemeanor — according to Freeman Police Chief Scott Brewer, who was involved in the pursuit. Brewer said the obstruction charge is based on acts of reckless driving like excessive speed and running through yield and stop signs.
The drama unfolded around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 15 after Brewer took a call about a traffic complaint at Fourth and Relanto streets — a blue Mitsubishi that had run through a stop sign. Brewer said as he made his way to the location of the call on Third Street, he saw the vehicle pulling out of a driveway.
Brewer said he hit his lights, hit his siren, and the suspect fled through Freeman at speeds between 40 and 50 miles per hour, running through yield and stop signs as he drove. Brewer said Edurado, whose address is unknown, then headed south on 438th Ave. past Valley View Golf Course at speeds of around 60, where the Flyer Invitational cross-country meet was taking place. The pursuit continued east on 281st and then north on Highway 81.
“From 81, speeds got up to 105 miles an hour,” said Brewer, who was on the radio at the time calling out speeds and location as sheriff departments from Hutchinson and McCook counties, as well as the Highway Patrol, got involved.
Brewer said the suspect slowed a bit when he got to Highway 44 three miles north of Freeman because of traffic at the intersection but swerved into the oncoming lane of travel at around 70 miles an hour and continued north.
“We get to (Highway) 42; same thing,” Brewer said.
Eventually, just before 261st St., which is about 4 ½ miles south of the Interstate 90 exchange, McCook County laid spike strips across the highway, which flattened all four of the car’s tires, slowed Edurado’s speed to around 40 miles per hour and forced him into the ditch. From there he fled the vehicle and ran into a corn field, where he was apprehended, taken into custody and transported to Yankton.
Brewer, who has been in high-speed pursuits before, said his primary focus was staying with the suspect while being conscious of the safety of others.
“If we’re in heavy traffic we’ll terminate the pursuit,” Brewer said, “but there was light to moderate traffic, and at some points there was no traffic.”
If it had been later in the afternoon, when students were out of school and people were going home from work, “the pursuit wouldn’t have happened.”
Brewer says he doesn’t know why the suspect fled; there were no warrants on file and no sign of drugs or alcohol.
“We have no clue,” he said.