A 23-year-old transient Kansas City, Kan., man was arrested Thursday night after a high-speed chase that ended in downtown Lawrence. Police also accuse the suspect of at least one carjacking.
According to Douglas County Jail records and Lawrence police, Edward James Wise was arrested and booked into jail at 12:30 a.m. today on charges of theft, aggravated assault, criminal possession of a firearm, aggravated robbery, driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, and failure to report an accident.
Witnesses and police reported that Wise had a semi-automatic pistol when he tried to run from officers near 10th and Massachusetts streets.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper eventually shot Wise in the back with a Taser, and officers could apprehend him. He was not injured, police said.
"I can tell you in a situation like that where there are a lot of people around, the Taser is a much better option because of all the people around. There's no bullets flying," said Lt. Art Wilburn, a highway patrol spokesman.
In the last year, the highway patrol has equipped some troopers with Tasers, he said, and the agency is trying to get more. Lawrence police also recently were granted funding to eventually start supplying some officers with Tasers.
Before Thursday night's incident came to an end, police said Wise led them on a dangerous chase and also hit several vehicles, but no injuries were reported.
A van was reported stolen in Lawrence in the evening. Later, Leavenworth County Sheriff's officers began chasing the suspect in the van at 9 p.m.
The chase returned to North Lawrence and south across town. Lawrence police said the suspect struck a vehicle near 19th and Massachusetts streets and then carjacked a woman's Toyota Highlander after she left the drive-through window at Dairy Queen, 1835 Mass.
The suspect then drove north toward downtown Lawrence and struck at least two more cars before he ran from police and was arrested.
Wise is expected to make a first appearance in Douglas County District Court this afternoon where formal charges will be read to him.