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December 23, 2011 05:48 PM

Troopers Outline What Led To Deliberate Crash

Sioux Falls, SD


Twenty-five-year-old John Robert Graham, is being charged with aggravated eluding.


The Lincoln County Sheriff said a second suspect, possibly connected to the break-in, was later arrested.
 
The chase started in Lennox at the Valley Exchange Bank around 7 am. Lennox police found Graham in the bank.

After shots were fired in the bank, officers chased the him on foot before he stole a Dodge pickup that was parked nearby the bank and drove north of Lennox, through Tea and then Sioux Falls.  He drove through some county roads before ending up on west 12th street. 

"He was going through fences and fields and residential areas. There came a point for public safety when we had to intervene," Capt. Kevin Joffer, SD Highway Patrol, said.

The suspect was arrested right away without incident.

"Our trooper is fine, we just took the suspect who was driving, he was taken to be checked out for precautions," Joffer said.

Troopers had tried throwing spikes down on the road to stop the truck, but decided this was too risky for other drivers and pedestrians.

"From normal activity in this time of day in Sioux Falls, it's very busy with traffic, commuter traffic. So, obviously public safety is our concern and we don't want anyone to get hurt. But, as I said, we made a decision to intervene," Joffer said.

A high speed chase that ended in a deliberate crash isn't common in Sioux Falls. Joffer said troopers are trained in this type of maneuver to keep a situation like this from escalating even more. 

"At this point we're very fortunate there was no loss of life for anyone, including my troopers. We brought this to an end safely," Joffer said.

Graham could face charges in both Lincoln and Minnehaha counties. We checked Graham's criminal history.  The only mark on his record is pleading guilty to speeding in a school zone back in 2007.
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