Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Man jailed following tractor pursuit
By Margie Wuebker
CHATTANOOGA - An Indiana man remains incarcerated at the Mercer County jail after leading authorities on a low-speed tractor pursuit Monday night that began in Adams County.
Dustin D. Clouse, 20, of Decatur, was taken into custody shortly before 9:30 p.m. after ramming a cruiser, attempting to strike others, swerving at an officer and driving over "stop sticks." No one was injured. Officers reportedly used a Taser to subdue Clouse when he become combative prior to his arrest.
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office was contacted shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday by Adams County authorities seeking assistance in stopping the Case International 5130 farm tractor. The tractor already had struck several vehicles, traveled through fences and yards and rammed an Adams County cruiser, the report said.
Mercer County Sheriff's Deputy Deric Kroft reportedly deployed "stop sticks" in the area of Rockford West Road and state Route 49 West. Clouse, described as autistic by Adams County authorities, swerved in Kroft's direction and attempted to strike several cruisers, according to a press release.
The pursuit continued at approximately 20 mph in the Chattanooga area in northwestern Mercer County. The tractor, reportedly owned by Clouse's father, eventually stopped along Burrville Road, north of Strable Road, possibly due to mechanical problems, authorities said.
Clouse allegedly did not respond to verbal orders to shut off the tractor and get down onto the ground. Kroft reportedly climbed onto the farm vehicle and attempted to turn the key, but Clouse became combative and was subdued by the Taser.
Clouse initially was taken to Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, in accordance with the sheriff's Taser policy. He was then booked into jail on a fifth-degree felony charge of fleeing and eluding. An initial appearance in Celina Municipal Court had not been set by press time this morning.
The case will be reviewed by prosecutor offices in Mercer and Adams counties with the possibility of additional charges in one or both of the jurisdictions.
In addition to the sheriff's offices, other agencies involved in the incident were the Decatur Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.