Melvern schools locked down during vehicle pursuit, crashes; suspect arrested – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Melvern schools locked down during vehicle pursuit, crashes; suspect arrested

A vehicle pursuit raced through Melvern yesterday, causing the school to be locked down until a suspect, identified as Joshua B. Franks, 30, of Melvern, was arrested after abandoning his vehicle in a field southeast of town.

A report from the Osage County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy had attempted to stop a car for a traffic violation around 10:49 a.m. Feb. 3, 2021, near East 325th Street and south state Highway 31, south of Melvern, Kan.

The vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit entered Melvern, where the suspect drove through a field before striking a sheriff’s patrol unit and another vehicle. The pursuit continued on rural roads southeast of Melvern until the suspect entered a field in the 5600 block of East 325th Street and abandoned his vehicle. Two K-9’s and a helicopter from Kansas Highway Patrol responded. A perimeter of the area was established, and Franks was eventually located and taken into custody without further incident.

During the pursuit, Marais des Cygnes Valley School in Melvern voluntarily went into lockdown for the safety of students and staff, and remained on lockdown until notified it was safe to resume regular activities. A notification from USD 456 Superintendent Joe Sample said the school cancelled its planned early-release for the day and classes continued until normal dismissal time, and regular after school activities resumed.

Franks was transported to Osage County Jail on suspicion of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery, burglary, fleeing to elude, reckless driving, obstruction of the legal process, criminal damage to property, and several traffic violations.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Coffey County Sheriff’s Office, and Osage County EMS.

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