Church damaged in high speed chase

By Grace Moore

Grace Moore photo
The First Presbyterian Church exterior was damaged as the chase came to an end.

 

In the early morning hours of Wednesday morning, April 25, Moorcroft Police Sergeant Bill Peters was dispatched to assist in stopping and apprehending an underage

d individual driving a vehicle through town in a high speed chase from Gillette.

According to Moorcroft Chief of Police Doug “Red” Lundborg, the chase started in Campbell County, where the 15-year-old juvenile communicated to parties around him his thoughts of self harm before absconding with a vehicle he did not have the authority to take. “Campbell County found and chased him into our county,” says Lundborg.

“Spikes” were set up at Highways 16 and 51, slicing through three of the vehicle’s tires, slowing the individual’s speed from around 100 miles per hour to almost the 30 mile an hour municipal speed limit. Peters had stationed himself on the center line just east of the intersection of Highways 14 and 16.

“The kid chose to veer right, jumping the curb and crashing through the fence and the sign,” Lundborg says.

The vehicle stopped on the lawn of the First Presbyterian Church and Campbell County deputies and Peters approached to find the youth somewhat stunned. The ambulance was called to the scene and the adolescent was transported back to Gillette.

First Presbyterian Pastor Monte Reichenberg was attending a meeting out of town Wednesday morning and only realized the property was damaged after an acquaintance mentioned the sight. “We had no knowledge of it happening until then,” he says.

The church is currently awaiting an appraisal of the damage; the damaged shrubs and fence will have to removed, the signage replaced and a down spout on the building will have to replaced.

“The top pipe of the fence swung over against the building, we don’t think it did any damage to the structure itself, but the appraiser will have to tell us about that,” he says.

The chief gave a copy of the video and Peters’ report to assist the Campbell County Attorney in their endeavors to help the young person. “We’ll see if we can get an estimate of the damages to go with the report to maybe try to get some restitution.”

Reichenberg commented, “I’m happy the young man wasn’t hurt too badly and we’re working to get things rectified.” He assures parishioners that this incident will not interrupt services.