Tractor eludes police for hours in crazy chase

Police pursue a tractor Monday evening. The chase started near Decatur and ended in Ohio. (Courtesy: Ashley Baumer)
Police pursue a tractor Monday evening. The chase started near Decatur and ended in Ohio. (Courtesy: Ashley Baumer)

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – The man who led police on an hours-long tractor pursuit on Monday is autistic, the Adams County Sheriff’s Department confirmed with NewsChannel 15 on Tuesday.

The tractor driver eluded police for approximately two hours Monday night in a chase that started in Decatur and crossed the state line into Ohio.

Around 7:30 p.m., the Adams County Sheriff’s Department said officers responded to Third Street in Decatur on a report of vandalism.

When they pulled up, police found a man who they said drove away from the area on a tractor. They tried to get him to pull over but said he refused.

At 18 mph, the tractor drove over several sets of stop sticks and even crossed the state line. Video posted online shows several of the tires either flat or completely gone.

According Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey, at one point the tractor driver, identified as Dustin D. Clouse, 20, of Decatur, Indiana, swerved in an attempt to hit a deputy. He also allegedly tried to ram several patrol cars.

Clouse was forced to stop due to mechanical problems on Burrville Road just north of Strable Road. When Clouse ignored commands to shut off the tractor and get off it, a deputy used his Taser and Clouse was taken into custody, according to Sheriff Grey.

Dustin D. Clouse
Mug shot of Dustin D. Clouse provided by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Dept.

Clouse was taken to Mercer Health as standard policy when a Taser is used. Once he was cleared for release from the hospital, Clouse was taken to the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility on a felony charge of fleeing and eluding.

The case will be reviewed by the Mercer County and Adams County Prosecutor’s Office. Additional charges may be filed in Ohio and/or Indiana after that review.

“This was an unusual pursuit, we are happy that no one from the public, Mr. Clouse, or law enforcement was injured,” stated Sheriff Grey, “law enforcement agencies from both states worked well together to bring this to a safe conclusion.”

Agencies involved in the investigation were the Adams County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office, Decatur Police Department, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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