Damage to Monett police cars from the pursuit and capture of Cody R. Dobyns, 20, of Monett, on April 5, has been estimated at more than $1,000.
According to a statement released by Monett Police Lieutenant Greg Brandsma, Monett officers were advised of numerous stolen vehicles reported in Barry County and the Monett area overnight. Monett officers moved into the vicinity of a car theft, which had been reported around 7:50 a.m. on April 5. When they arrived in the area, they observed a dark colored Mustang matching the vehicle description.
Officers positioned themselves to conduct a traffic stop with the driver of the stolen Mustang on Waldensian Road near the rear entrance to the Church of the Nazarene.
"Upon stopping the Mustang, Monett officers found the driver (Dobyns) not cooperative," Brandsma said. "The driver of the stolen Mustang, after stopping, hesitated momentarily then proceeded to accelerate in reverse, colliding with the police vehicle positioned behind the Mustang, causing damage to the front of the police vehicle.
"The driver then accelerated forward, colliding with the front of a second police vehicle, after which the Mustang proceeded south on Waldensian Road to Highway 37," Brandsma continued.
Officers pursued the stolen Mustang for a short distance into the city at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. Dobyns drove west on Highway 60 to Farm Road 1050 and then proceeded south. Officers followed a parallel route on Farm Road 2020 and stopped their vehicle in the roadway as the Mustang accelerated toward the police car. The driver drove partially off the roadway and passed the police vehicle on the right at a high rate of speed.
At that point, the driver appeared to have over-corrected in steering back onto the road. The Mustang drove into a ditch on the north side of the roadway, colliding with a fence post and utility pole, coming to a stop.
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said Dobyns faces three counts of first degree tampering with a motor vehicle and drug possession. He also was found to be in violation of his probation. Bond was set at $25,000 for the tampering charges, but Dobyns is being held at the Barry County Jail without bond on the probation violation.
Dobyns is a cousin to Timothy S. Plopper and John C. Plopper, who were arrested for a series of vehicle thefts and burnings earlier this year. Epperly said Dobyns was a suspect in that series of thefts.