Couple flees police in ATV

By: 
Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Thomas Edwards, 41, Salem, and Megan Thompson, 34, Salem, were arrested on Saturday, March 28, after refusing to stop when a police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop and resisting law enforcement.

Just after 6:15 p.m., Deputy Tory Hildreth was sent to South Blue River Road in Pekin when a caller reported four-wheelers in the creek on his property. While Hildreth was en route, he saw a UTV, covered in mud, traveling north toward State Road 160. Hildreth recognized the driver as Edwards, who he knew did not have a valid driver’s license.

Hildreth said he activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop, but the UTV made a left turn in the roadway and then a right turn into a field and down into a creek. Hildreth tried pursue to from the creek bank, but lost sight of the UTV. Deputy Brad Naugle arrived to assist and Hildreth continued on foot into the creek bed where the UTV entered and spotted the UTV. He approached the vehicle, but Edwards and his passenger, Thompson, had left.

A passerby on a bicycle pointed in the direction two people had run and the officers took that direction. They found Edwards and Thompson in another creek bed and noticed that they, too, had seen the officers. Before they could disappear from sight behind a bend in the creek bed, Hildreth ordered them to stop and they complied.

Hildreth placed Edwards in handcuffs and told him he was being placed under arrest for resisting law enforcement, and Hildreth said Edwards stiffened and repeatedly tried to pull his arm away. Edwards was threatened with a taser and he complied.

Hildreth said Edwards and Thompson became verbally disorderly, curing and yelling at the officers. Hildreth warned Thompson he would give her a disorderly conduct warning to stop yelling, but this did little good, as they continued to be belligerent

Edwards and Thompson claimed they did not see Hildreth turn his emergency lights on when he was in pursuit, and that they were not doing anything wrong and were only going to the creek to look for rocks. Edwards claimed they had permission from the landowner to be there. The landowner told the officers he has never given Edwards permission to be on his property.

Thompson and Edwards were preliminarily charged with resisting law enforcement.

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