Mitchell man involved in area chase sent to prisonMichael Clark 1 of 2 in vehicle during wild pursuit across Charles Mix and Douglas counties in September.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
LAKE ANDES — A Mitchell man arrested last September after a high-speed chase across Charles Mix and Douglas counties has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Michael Clark, 27, pleaded guilty Jan. 14 to grand theft for receiving stolen property and was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison with six years suspended, according to Charles Mix County State’s Attorney Tom Deadrick.
Two additional charges, one count of possession of a firearm with a prior violent crime conviction and one count of possession of a firearm while intoxicated, were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Clark was a passenger in a vehicle with 19-year-old Jacob Abdo, of Mitchell, on Sept. 27, when the two men refused to pull over for Douglas County Deputy Sgt. Jason Babl and Chief Deputy Gene Niehus, who attempted to stop them for allegedly traveling 90 mph in a 55 mph zone in northwest Douglas County.
A chase ensued, with speeds reaching as high as 102 mph. After about 45 minutes of pursuit, law enforcement deployed road spikes, which punctured and deflated the vehicle’s front driver’s side tire.
Despite the damage, the vehicle continued on and still reached speeds of up to 90 mph, court documents say.
During the chase, Abdo allegedly swerved from lane to lane to keep pursuing officers from passing, drove into oncoming traffic for long distances and attempted to ram a patrol vehicle driven by Charles Mix County Deputy Neal Moad, court documents say.
After another 30 minutes, Abdo and Clark’s vehicle ran out of gas on a dirt road southwest of Ravinia. The two men did not resist arrest once the chase ended, authorities say.
Their vehicle was later reported stolen out of Howard.
Law enforcement found several stolen items in the vehicle, including a jar containing coins and jewelry, a laptop, an audio/visual projector, a bag containing gold coins and a 9 mm handgun with four loaded rounds, court documents say. An empty shell casing was also found in the backseat.
Abdo’s blood alcohol content was 0.206 shortly after his arrest, while Clark’s was 0.169, court documents say. The legal limit for driving in South Dakota is 0.08. Clark was also found to have gunshot residue on his right hand.
Abdo has also pleaded guilty to charges related to the chase and is scheduled to be sentenced in March.