Driver leads police on high-speed chase

A local man led police on a 90-minute pursuit at speeds up to 80 miles per hour through three southern Indiana counties while his girlfriend and an 8-month-old child were in the vehicle.

A Columbus police officer saw a 2005 Ford Focus without a rear bumper near Eighth and Maple streets at 12:05 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

The officer saw a male driver and a female in the passenger seat, but did not see anyone in the backseat, Harris said. The vehicle’s license plate was in the rear window of the vehicle.

A license plate check revealed the driver, Kyle I. Pacek, 28, 3813 Camden Drive, had two warrants for his arrest, Harris said.

When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, Pacek initially led officers on a low-speed pursuit on the north side of the city, Harris said.

Subsequently, Pacek increased his speed and led officers into rural Bartholomew County, then into southern Decatur County and northern Jennings County at speeds approaching 80 miles per hour, Harris said. During the pursuit, Pacek avoided several tire-deflation devices placed by officers.

At the end of the pursuit, Pacek had re-entered Bartholomew County and stopped in the 7800 block of South County Road 800E, Harris said.

Pacek’s vehicle was inadvertently rear-ended by a Jennings County deputy, and Pacek left the car and fled on foot, Harris said. The suspect was caught by an Indiana State trooper a short time later.

When officers approached Pacek’s vehicle, they saw Pacek’s 8-month-old child, who was not injured, in a car seat in the back seat of the vehicle, Harris said. The woman in the front passenger seat declined medical treatment for a minor facial injury.

Pacek was arrested on charges of

Felony neglect of a dependent

Felony resisting law enforcement in a vehicle resulting in bodily injury

Two body attachments

Misdemeanor resisting law enforcement on foot

Misdemeanor criminal recklessness

Felony criminal confinement

Pacek is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail without bond, jail officials said.

Indiana State Police, Greensburg police, and the Decatur County, Jennings County and Bartholomew County sheriff’s departments assisted in the pursuit, Harris said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.