Man charged with 26 counts related to police chase faces local judge, belatedly

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Joshua W. Banfield

A man made his first appearance in Douglas County District Court this week for a far longer than average list of counts against him: 26, to be exact, all from the same incident. What happened?

I looked him up and learned the case is against a 36-year-old Topeka man named Joshua W. Banfield. According to the charges against him, he allegedly led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through Douglas County — including on the Kansas Turnpike — back on Oct. 29, 2017.

In addition to the felony charge of fleeing law enforcement by engaging in reckless driving, his other misdemeanor and traffic charges include damaging a Turnpike gate, damaging somebody’s barbed-wire fence, failing to yield to other cars and stop signs, failing to signal (five counts), failing to maintain his lane (six counts), passing in a no-passing zone, driving with a suspended license and no insurance, and speeding (allegedly hitting 90 in a 45 mph zone and 100 in a 75 zone, among other counts).

Also, charges allege, Banfield failed to pay his Turnpike toll.

Charges against Banfield were filed about two weeks after the chase, but according to his court file he never appeared in court to face them at that time. I’m not sure when he was arrested or where, but Banfield said in a handwritten letter to the court earlier this year that he was in the Shawnee County jail and wanted to be transported over to Douglas County to deal with his case here. “I’m currently trying to have all my detainers taken care of before I get sent to prison,” he wrote.

Banfield is now serving an 11-month sentence with the Kansas Department of Corrections for a Nov. 20, 2017, felony theft in Shawnee County, according to district court and KDOC records. He has been brought to the Douglas County Jail for local court proceedings, including his first appearance on Monday.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

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