HALLTOWN, Mo. -- Law enforcement officers arrested a man who they think led them on a 40-mile case from Greene County to Lawrence County late Wednesday afternoon. Jeromy Eutsler, 37, of Branson is in the Greene County jail, but wasn't charged for the chase as of Thursday afternoon. Eutsler has warrants for his arrest in Taney County for failing to appear in court last Nov. 1 on two cases, a theft charge and a domestic assault charge.The chase started on the north side of Springfield about 4 p.m., when deputies with the Greene County Sheriff's Department spotted a pickup that had been reported stolen earlier in the day.
The deputies followed the truck on county farm roads around Springfield-Branson National Airport, then west to Bois D'Arc, then west and south into Lawrence County to a wooded area west of Halltown. At several points during the chase, the driver of the truck reached speeds of 90 miles an hour and twice managed to avoid spike strips laid down to blow out his tires.
The driver stopped the truck along Lawrence County Road 1210 north of old Route 66 and Paris Springs, then jumped out and ran into the woods. He left behind his girlfriend, Crystal Woodward, and her baby, who were in the truck. Officers questioned and arrested Woodward and turned the 6-month-old baby over to the state's Children's Division. Woodward could face a charge of child endangerment but had not been charged by Thursday afternoon.
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Eutsler was arrested early Thursday in Lawrence County. Someone called the sheriff's department about 1 a.m. after spotting the suspected fugitive in the 3700 block of Lawrence Road 1235. State troopers and Greene and Lawrence County deputies surrounded the area and used tracking dogs to find and arrest him in a field near the house.
The warrants for failure to appear in court in Taney County stipulate that no bond will be accepted, so Greene and Lawrence county prosecutors don't have to hurry to file charges. He could face charges of resisting arrest, tampering with a motor vehicle, endangering the welfare of a child, and violating conditions of his parole.
Eutsler received a three-year prison sentence in July 2004 after pleading guilty for receiving stolen property in January 2004 in Barry County. He received a two-year prison sentence in early 2007 for tampering with a motor vehicle in Lawrence County in 2005. In March 2010, he received two concurrent three-year prison sentences for driving with a revoked license in January 2009 and for receiving stolen property in in January 2010; both those cases also were in Lawrence County.
Greene County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jeromy Efton Eutsler Thursday morning for several crimes, including resisting arrest. His girlfriend, Crystal Woodward, is in jail for endangering a child.The arrest of Eutsler and Woodward capped a six-hour pursuit that started in Greene County and ended in a Lawrence County field. The sheriff says the two would not be in jail if not for some help from watchful neighbors. Sheriff Delay says the infant in the car belonged to Woodward, not Eutsler. The baby is safe and has been turned over to child protective services.