crime

A Greene County Sheriff’s Office deputy was seriously hurt when hit by a suspect vehicle during a pursuit through Greene and Polk counties Friday, Dec. 11.

In a statement on social media Friday night, GCSO identified the injured deputy as Lt. Steven Westbrook, who has worked with the department for 24 years. 

Westbrook, 55, remains in serious but stable condition, the statement said. 

According to a news release from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, deputies had responded to a residence in the 1200 block of Rt. WW in Springfield for a domestic disturbance.

As deputies remained in the area, trying to locate the suspect, the person drove back by the victim’s house. Deputies then attempted to initiate a car stop, the release stated.

“The suspect failed to yield and a pursuit ensued,” the release stated. “Information was provided that the suspect was also possibly wanted for a probation violation.” 

Per the release, the suspect fled northbound on Mo. 13 into Polk County, where Greene County deputies received assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Pleasant Hope Police Department. 

The pursuit continued north to just south of Bolivar, the release stated. 

According to the release, the suspect turned around and headed south on Mo. 13 to 565th Road in Polk County. 

“At that intersection, a Greene County deputy was stopped and parked off of the roadway in an attempt to deploy stop sticks,” the release stated. “In what appears to be a deliberate act, the suspect veered off of the road and struck our deputy.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report said Westbrook's patrol vehicle was parked in a private drive with the deputy standing beside it.

The suspect vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck the patrol car, which then hit Westbrook, the report stated. 

The release said deputies were able to immediately take suspects in the vehicle into custody. Law enforcement also began immediately rendering aid to Westbrook, who was transported via air ambulance to a Cox South Hospital. 

Westbrook had suffered “very serious injuries,” the release stated. 

The MSHP report said Msgt. T.J. Stevens, Sgt. T.L. Hall, the Greene County Sheriff's Office and Polk County Sheriff's Office investigated the crash scene. 

The Missouri Department of Transportation aided with traffic direction and detouring, per the release. Significant impacts to traffic are being experienced at this time.

Polk County Sheriff Danny Morrison and Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott thanked local law enforcement agencies for their assistance, the release stated.  

“Fire, EMS, law enforcement and MODOT all worked seamlessly together in this event,” the release stated. 

"I would ask the community to please keep our deputy and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” Arnott said in the release. “We are working closely with Polk County Sheriff Morrison and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to investigate this incident. I want to also thank my deputies for their professionalism and dedication as we investigate this horrible assault.”

 

 

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