California Man Arrested After High-Speed Chase, Impersonating Officer

Wyoming Highway Patrol
Wyoming Highway Patrol

A California man involved in a high-speed chase Thursday that exceeded 100 miles per hour and ended near Douglas, reportedly impersonated himself as a law enforcement officer prior to the pursuit.

Jonathan Suckow, 39, identified himself as a law enforcement officer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at the Flying J gas station Nov. 19 at approximately 9 a.m., according to Gillette Police Department (GPD) Lt. Brent Wasson.

Staff at the Flying J reported that Suckow had requested to search someone and the agents, who just so happened to be at the gas station, requested Suckow show identification proving he was a law enforcement officer, Wasson said Friday morning.

Suckow became upset, confrontational, and reportedly left the scene in a gray 2019 Ford Edge, after which the agents contacted GPD.

Suckow was soon located and officers unsuccessfully tried to stop him, following as he fled, Wasson said.

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GPD attempted to deploy spikes on his vehicle at a red traffic signal at Highway 50 and Interstate 90, Wasson said, but Suckow took off, and the pursuit was terminated when officers lost sight of the vehicle.

A short time later, GPD received a report of a gray 2019 Ford Edge speeding between 80 and 90 mph past Thunder Basin High School. Officers located the vehicle in the area of Enzi Drive and 4-J Road and reinitiated the pursuit.

Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) troopers, along with Campbell County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies, joined the pursuit after Suckow reportedly sped onto Highway 50 in speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to a release from WHP.

Attempts to spike the vehicle were again unsuccessful and the pursuit turned onto Highway 387 near Wright and continued further onto Highway 59 towards Douglas.

As the pursuit approached Douglas, Converse County Sheriff’s Office deputies and WHP troopers successfully deployed spike strips around milepost 6, the WHP release stated.

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Suckow then allegedly refused to exit the vehicle and, after stopping momentarily, continued driving south. A WHP trooper attempted a Tactical Vehicle Intervention maneuver but was only partially successful, forcing Suckow into the barrow ditch.

He then attempted to continue driving, at which point, a WHP trooper, believing Suckow posed an imminent threat to the pursuing officers and the public, rammed his patrol car into his vehicle, causing the it to overturn, according to WHP Sgt. Jeremy Beck.

Neither the trooper nor Suckow were injured and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident, Beck said.

Suckow is currently charged with three counts of eluding, reckless driving, and impersonating a police officer by the GPD. He faces additional charges from the WHP that include speeding and other traffic related offenses.