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Pursuit through three counties leads to arrest

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A high speed pursuit through multiple counties led to felony charges for a man from Rockaway Beach. 

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According to online court records, Caleb Michael Moriarity, 35, is charged in Polk County Circuit Court with class D felony first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle and class E felony resisting arrest.   

A news release from Polk County Sheriff Danny Morrison said a deputy saw a Ford Expedition pulling a trailer — both without license plates — southbound on Main Street in Morrisville, near the U.S. Post Office, at around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, April 29.  

As the deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop for failure to display plates, Moriarity, the driver, “failed to stop and increased his speeds,” the release stated. 

The deputy then initiated a pursuit as Moriarity headed west on Mo. 215.

Moriarity reached speeds up to 90 mph, according to the probable cause statement.  

“During the pursuit, a fuel tank and large wheels fell off the bed of the trailer,” the release stated. “At one point during the pursuit, the deputy reported seeing the driver display a handgun.”

The statement said Moriarity appeared to hold the gun to the side of his head with his right hand.  

The pursuit entered into Dade and Greene counties, the release stated.

Moriarity passed a small passenger vehicle traveling southbound on Mo. 245 in Dade County “on a blind hill, causing the driver of the small car to partially swerve off into the ditch,” according to the statement.   

“A female passenger jumped out of the vehicle in the city of Everton,” the release stated. 

The statement said she “exited the vehicle and raised her hands.” 

As the pursuit continued in Dade County, Moriarity drove through a barbed wire fence into a pasture, through another section of fence and back onto the roadway at one point, the release stated.

The pursuit continued east on U.S. 160 into Greene County, per the statement. 

Greene County deputies tried to deploy spike strips to stop the fleeing vehicle near the county line, the statement said, but Moriarity avoided the spikes and continued eastbound until he turned onto Farm Road 2.

Moriarity then drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Farm Road 2 and Farm Road 68.    

“The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guard rail on Farm Road 68 in Greene County,” the release stated. 

Moriarity was taken into custody for several traffic warrants issued by the Branson Police Department, per the release.

The statement said he also had a failure to appear warrant out of Henry County.  

“The vehicle was confirmed stolen from Lawrence County,” the release stated. 

Morrison thanked Polk County Central Dispatch, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Greene County Sheriff’s Office and Dade County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance during the pursuit and arrest.

Moriarity is held on $45,000 bond plus conditions in Polk County Jail. He’s due in court Wednesday, May 5.

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