UPDATE: Police pursuit suspects identified
BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – State Police identified two suspects who were arrested Wednesday afternoon after a pursuit that spanned two counties and left a Berea Police officer with minor injuries. State Police say around 2:30 p.m., a Berea Police officer investigated a possible drug complaint at the Days Inn in Richmond.
Investigators say when the officer approached a male suspect, the man took off running and jumped into a car that drove off. State Police say Berea Police Officer Chris Whicker ran after the suspect, sustained minor injuries during the foot pursuit and immediately contacted Madison County dispatch with a vehicle description and information. Officer Whicker was treated and released from Saint Joseph Berea Hospital.
State Police say they located the suspect car near the I-75 on ramp at mile marker 97. KSP says the vehicle fled from police and headed north on I-75. Due to heavy traffic, in part because of a funeral procession for fallen Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis, police were forced to use a tire deflation device and legal intervention to stop the black 2007 Pontiac G6 passenger car, according to State Police. The pursuit led to a massive traffic backup in the northbound lane of I-75.
After finally stopping the car in Fayette County near Exit 104, State Police arrested the driver, 21-year old Princess Thomas of Newport, Kentucky. She was charged with Speeding, Fleeing and Evading 1st, Reckless Driving, Wanton Endangerment-Police (4-counts), Operating on a Suspended License and Warrants, according to KSP.
The passenger in Thomas’ car, 28-year old Najee Raheem Appling of Detroit, Michigan, was arrested and charged with Fleeing and Evading 2nd (on foot) and Warrants for a Parole Violation, according to State Police. Investigators say further charges may be pending.
Both suspects were lodged in the Madison County Detention Center in Richmond. The investigation continues.