WINFIELD — The City of Winfield had not had its new squad car more than 24 hours when it was first used to take a suspect into the Henry County Jail, police chief Jeff Dietrich told the Winfield City Council Wednesday evening.
Dietrich said the new Dodge Charger the city had purchased to replace the department’s Ford Explorer had been outfitted and was in use. The Explorer had received about $11,000 in damages during a vehicle pursuit on Highway 218 that happened Dec. 3, 2018. Instead of repairing the vehicle, the council had opted to purchase the new squad car. Since the incident, Winfield had been using loaner vehicles from Mt. Pleasant and Wapello police departments.
“Wapello was happy to get their vehicle back,” Dietrich said. “We had to remove the Henry County frequency from the car, but that was it.”
Mayor Chris Finnell thanked the two cities who had loaned their squad cars to Winfield during the five months that the city did not have its own vehicle.
Dietrich also thanked the City of Wayland, which gave Winfield the light bar that’s on the top of the vehicle. He said the only thing the city had to buy was the mounting brackets for the bar.
The Winfield Police Department has one vehicle and is manned by three part-time officers.
Dietrich said the chase had been one of three chases that had occurred that day with the same two suspects. He explained that law enforcement had tried to deploy stop sticks — a device for deflating the tires of a vehicle — in front of the eluding vehicle, but the driver would drive through the median into the lane of oncoming traffic. At one point, he said the vehicle was in a ditch in the median trying to get out on Highway 218 north of Mt. Pleasant. The suspect truck collided with the Winfield Explorer. Driver Dillon Jacob Rasch, 27, of Davenport, and passenger, Alissa Nicole Patterson, 20, of Biggsville, Illinois, were arrested at the scene. All four stolen vehicles were recovered.