The two men arrested following a manhunt near Tilden this week are each being held on $250,000 bonds.
James Baker, age 24, and Jeremy Stevens, age 25, both from South Dakota were taken into custody on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen vehicle, flight to avoid arrest and possession of methamphetamine, just west of Tilden in Antelope County.
According to court records, Deputy Darin Ternus was on a regular tour of duty Wednesday afternoon when he stopped at the Hiway Mart in Clearwater for something to drink.
It was then that he first encountered one of the men arrested following the manhunt, Jeremy Stevens. Stevens stated he needed money wired to him, so Deputy Ternus and the cashier, Crystal Kester, directed Stevens to Norfolk. Deputy Ternus noticed Stevens' partner, James Baker, outside the gas station.
Court records state that on suspicion, Ternus ran the men's license plate, and it was then that their vehicle - a gold Dodge Stratus with South Dakota license plates- was identified as stolen. The deputy then followed the men until backup reached him,
They were pursued by deputies east on Highway 275, reaching speeds over 100 mph. The pursuit passed Neligh, where officers had stopped traffic and waited at the intersection of Highway 275 and 14 for the assailants, ready to deploy stop sticks. However, records show the men swerved the car to avoid the stop sticks, almost losing control, and continued out of town.
The chase continued east of Neligh, past Oakdale. About 2.5 miles from Tilden, the men drove across the Cowboy Trail and took off on foot, headed south into a cornfield.
Both men were eventually apprehended by law enforcement officers and taken to the Antelope County Law Enforcement Center, where they remain in custody.
The Antelope County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the apprehension of the two men by the Nebraska State Patrol, Holt County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Neligh Police Department, Tilden Police Department and Neligh Rescue. A helicopter, airplane and K9 unit were utilized in the search.
Among the items found in the car following the pursuit, according to court records, was a syringe with dark liquid in it inside a plastic flashlight, eight small clear baggies with residue, a silver spoon, small plastic baggie with jell substance in it and a prescription pill bottle. Also at the scene, but away from the vehicle, was a black and silver folding knife and a syringe with residue.
Formal charges will be filed against both men upon completion of law enforcement’s investigation.
The pursuit began about the time schools were dismissing. Elkhorn Valley did dismiss students after school since they had not been notified of the situation, according to officials, but athletic practices were on lockdown until just after 6 p.m.
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