The suspect was charged with numerous crimes.
Following a high-speed chase on New year’s Eve Nathaniel W. Watkins, 34, Kansas City was arrested and charged with eight crimes and one felony warrant from Platte County.
According to a press release from Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox at about 4:14 p.m., Dec. 31 he was patrolling near Wheeling when he noticed a vehicle with no license plates being driven by a white male. Once the driver realized the sheriff turned around in his direction, he accelerated quickly and was then speeding and driving careless, according to Cox.
“The suspect vehicle was checked at 60 mph when it was fast approaching U.S. Highway 36 and appeared to brake but not slow much as it went through the intersection. A westbound vehicle was very close to striking the suspect vehicle as it went through the intersection at U.S. Highway 36,” Cox said.
The suspect vehicle continued east on U.S. Highway 36 at over 100 mph and continued into Linn County weaving through traffic. East of the area of Highway EE intersection the suspect slammed on his brakes and then began backing up very fast with the sheriff avoiding his vehicle as the suspect driver turned and began traveling west in the eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 36.
Sheriff Cox continued updating dispatch and traveled west in the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 36 attempting to alert motorists. Watkins was again allegedly traveling over 100 mph and continued in the wrong lanes to about one mile into Livingston County when the suspect slowed as the sheriff was ahead on the westbound lanes and crossed over in an attempt to prevent the suspect vehicle from continuing further into oncoming eastbound traffic.
“The suspect was able to get around but nearly struck the LCSO patrol vehicle and then crossed over to travel west in the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 36 while continuing driving dangerous.,” Cox said. “Backup officers were near the Wheeling intersection and attempting to warn traffic when the suspect braked hard and turned north onto Highway B going through Wheeling. The vehicle had gained significant distance on the LCSO vehicle and continued north on Highway B at a high rate of speed, frequently driving in the wrong lane of the two-lane highway. The suspect vehicle went onto a private crop field north of Highway B at LIV 216 and continued north in the private field at a high rate of speed and drove around a nearby home. The sheriff and Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) were quick to get on LIV 273 and go north where the sheriff attempted to block the escape route for the driver on this private property but that vehicle ended up going around and through the private yard and went north on LIV 273 with the state trooper following.”
Further north on LIV 273 Watkin’s vehicle gave out and the car came to rest. K-9 Zaki and Deputy Nicholas Leadbetter were close behind the trooper and sheriff with Zaki prepared to respond.
“The male suspect did not clarify why he did not run after quickly exiting the car but we suspect he was aware K-9 Zaki was ready to meet him and the driver made the first right choice of the afternoon by not fighting or running further,” Cox said.
Prior to stopping the trooper reported seeing an occupant appear to throw at least one item from the vehicle and officers later recovered a meth pipe in that vicinity. Zaki showed positive indications on the odor of drug(s) in the vehicle and officers seized alleged methamphetamine and marijuana drug paraphernalia.
Watkins arrested by troopers for alleged felony resisting arrest-serious risk of death or injury, felony tampering with physical evidence, possession of the drug paraphernalia for meth and marijuana, suspected felony driving while revoked/suspended, failing to yield to emergency vehicle, careless and imprudent driving, no seat belt and failure to display valid license plates, according to an online arrest report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Cox said during the incident, dispatch advised Watkins had an active felony arrest warrant for allegedly stealing from Platte County and showed possible multiple other arrest warrants that were not extraditable from this area.
Watkins was later taken to Daviess-Dekalb Regional Jail for a 24-hour hold, according to online records.
The passenger was identified as a 32-year-old female from Raytown. She was released after questioning pending case review by prosecuting attorney Adam Warren. This female reported being on felony probation in Linn County for a drug crime. A report will be submitted to her probation officer.
“Dispatchers did an amazing job of keeping everyone updated and getting the various officers in the right positions,” Cox said.
Cox and members of the sheriff’s department were aided by the MSHP, Linn County Sheriff's Office, Chillicothe Department of Emergency Services during this incident.