Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

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May 22, 2013

UPDATE, 10:43 a.m.: Pursuit that began in Marion county ends in Wayne county

At least one patrol car damaged

CORYDON — A pursuit that began in Marion county Tuesday evening ended in Wayne county Tuesday night.

The two-hour, high speed chase that went through several counties, with an alleged short stint in Missouri as well, involved several agencies with at least two patrol cars damaged in the pursuit. Among the agencies involved were the Marion County Sherfif's Office, Iowa State Patrol, Appanoose County Sheriff's Office, Lucas County Sheriff's Office and Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt said Melvin Leroy Collis, 50, of Centerville, was the suspect aprehended in Wayne county after the chase. A Pleasantville police offcier attempted to pull him over in Pleasantville for a traffic violation. Collis refused to pull over and led authorities on a nearly two hour chase through southern Iowa.

The Pleasantville police officer reported the suspect threw marijuana from the vehicle after failing to yield.

Sandholdt credited two Knoxville pilots who followed the vehicle in the pursuit from beginning to end, communicating with law enforcement on his location when ground units couldn't keep up on the several highways and gravel roads Collis led pursuing officers on at speeds over 100 mph.

Collis is being charged in Marion county with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, multiple counts of speeding, eluding and driving while suspended. More charges could be filed in Marion and in the counties Collis fled through.

Wayne County Sheriff Ketih Davis said Collis has been charged in Wayne county with "multiple charges related to the pursuit, including driving without headlights." Davis says the pursuit was called off at one point, until a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff came across a vehicle driving at high speeds without their headlights on.

The pursuit ended when Collis' vehicle entered a roadside ditch and was aprehended by law enforcement.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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