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Creston man charged with attempted murder

This Creston Police vehicle was damaged after a pursuit Tuesday night that led to rural Creston. Casey Ray Welcher was charged with attempted murder after ramming his vehicle into the patrol vehicle, causing damage to the vehicle and attempting to cause the death of a Creston Police officer.
This Creston Police vehicle was damaged after a pursuit Tuesday night that led to rural Creston. Casey Ray Welcher was charged with attempted murder after ramming his vehicle into the patrol vehicle, causing damage to the vehicle and attempting to cause the death of a Creston Police officer.

Casey Ray Welcher, 24, last known address 1106 W. Montgomery St., was charged with attempted murder, first-degree criminal mischief, felony eluding, driving while barred and third-offense operating while intoxicated 11:18 p.m. Tuesday on 205th Street.

According to a Creston Police report, officers observed a blue Chevrolet Trailblazer fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of West Jefferson Street and North Sumner Avenue. Officers were attempting to conduct a traffic stop for this violation when the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed.

The pursuit went through the southwest side of Creston, eventually heading south of Creston on High and Dry Road. Officers continued to pursue the vehicle at speeds in excess of 95 miles per hour. The vehicle turned west onto 205th Street, where the driver lost control.

The driver then proceeded back east on 205th Street, where he struck one patrol vehicle, a 2017 Ford Explorer, and then intentionally rammed another squad vehicle, causing severe damage to the vehicle, a 2012 Dodge Charger, and unlawfully and intentionally attempting to cause the death of a Creston Police officer.

The suspect's vehicle proceeded into the ditch, coming to a stop. Two officers were injured during this time. Damage exceeded $10,000 total. The suspect, Welcher, took off on foot and was apprehended by officers after a short foot pursuit.

According to further reports, Welcher did operate a motor vehicle while impaired and while his license was barred. Welcher did admit to smoking marijuana between two and three hours of being involved in an attempt to elude law enforcement. Welcher showed signs of impairment and admitted several times to smoking marijuana. Welcher refused field sobriety testing, preliminary breath testing, DataMaster testing and a urine test. Welcher has two prior convictions of operating while intoxicated within the past 12 years.

"I'm glad the officers are OK and the suspect was caught," said Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer. "To prevent more incidents like this, we purchased spike strips that can be used if we can get a chance to get ahead of the individual, and we have a good pursuit policy the officers follow. We also try to limit pursuits in general."

Attempted murder is a class B felony, first-degree criminal mischief is a class C felony and third-offense operating while intoxicated is a class D felony.

Welcher was being held on $100,000 bond.

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