July 12, 2009
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota is looking for a pickup truck that’s been involved in a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 29. A highway patrolman spots the truck on Highway 50 near Vermillion. The trooper gives chase and calls for backup in an attempt to stop the fleeing pickup driver, who has other ideas.
Now cops from the Vermillion Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol have all joined in on what’s become a Keystone Kops style car chase. The guy behind the wheel makes a surprise move by driving straight into the Town of Vermillion where he stops in front of the Clay County Courthouse.
The guy backs the truck up the steps of the courthouse then crashes through the courthouse doors. Next the driver jumps out of his truck, runs up the courthouse steps to the second floor and bursts into a courtroom where a judge has just dismissed the jurors.
The fugitive then barricades himself inside the empty courtroom. The fleeing hit-and-run driver is identified as Clovis Murray of Sioux City, Iowa. Not only is he wanted for hit-and-run, he’s already been charged with tampering with anhydrous ammonia, a substance used to make methamphetamine. He also has outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions for possession of meth and burglary tools.
Clovis’ barricade isn’t successful because the cops push harder on the courtroom doors than Clovis and soon he’s in police custody. Clovis is additionally charged with felony eluding police, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.
Oddly, the courtroom Clovis broke into is the same courtroom he was due to appear in later that same day on a long list of criminal charges. Clovis must have wanted to make a dramatic appearance.
Posted by Bob Ford at 7/12/2009