RUSSELL — Approximately 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, Russell County Dispatch received a report of a suspicious vehicle containing two male occupants north of Russell in the area of the 4900 block of Canyon Road, according to a media release from the Russell County Sheriff.
At 9:57 a.m., a Russell County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the described vehicle traveling south on Canyon Road. Upon spotting the deputy, the driver of the vehicle immediately increased his speed to over 80 mph and began to flee, according to a news release. In the area of 181st and 15th streets, the passenger of the vehicle jumped out of the vehicle while it was still in motion. This individual later identified as Phillip S. Ledesma, Russell, was taken into custody without further incident by another responding deputy.
The driver of the vehicle continued to flee west into the Gorham area where he drove through numerous fences and fields in western Russell County and eastern Ellis County in his attempt to avoid law enforcement officers.
After an exhausting chase, Chad M. Niles, Hays, was taken into custody northwest of Gorham. Charges for both individuals will include possession of controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm. Charges on Niles will include felony flee and elude, aggravated assault on law enforcement, aggravated battery on law enforcement and criminal damage to property as well as numerous traffic violations.
“The Russell County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Russell City Police Department for their assistance in bringing this situation to an end. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the original caller for reporting these individuals as well as the citizens of Gorham for their patience and assistance,” the department stated in a news release. “Investigations are ongoing as to the property damage caused by Niles, and we urge anyone who has not spoken with one of our officers about damaged fence to contact our office.”