On Tuesday night, the Sedalia Police Department was contacted in reference to a suicidal subject.

The caller explained that they had seen a Facebook Live video where a male subject known to them had taken what appeared to be pills and stated a desire to kill himself. The male subject's name was provided as well as a vehicle description.

Sedalia Police Officers located the vehicle in the area of Walmart at 3201 W. Broadway Blvd. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle fled. Officers chose to terminate the pursuit less than a minute later for public safety concerns.

The male subject then called the Sedalia Police Department and expressed a desire to die and stated he would ram any police vehicle he saw. Officers were able to make contact with him by phone, calm him down, and convinced the subject to meet with Officers at Casey’s, 1601 E Broadway Blvd., to talk.

Upon arrival, Officers made contact with the subject briefly and tried to deescalate the situation but instead the subject intentionally rammed a Sedalia Police Department patrol vehicle and fled the scene. The act caused significant damage to the front of the SPD vehicle.

A pursuit was initiated which lasted approximately 18 minutes.  The suspect was pursued by the Sedalia Police Department, Pettis County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. During the pursuit, the suspect vehicle traveled back and forth East and West on Broadway Blvd. In addition, the suspect attempted to ram law enforcement vehicles at least ten times. On two occasions the subject swerved in what appeared to be an attempt to hit Officers that were attempting to deploy stop sticks that would deflate his tires.

The pursuit came to a conclusion in the area of Casey’s at 1601 E. Broadway Blvd when the suspect vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. Officers gave commands to the subject which he did not follow. SPD Officers deployed the use of a non-lethal tool, a Pepper Ball gun, which shoots paintball-like balls of pepper powder from a distance. The subject attempted to take off again in the suspect vehicle but stopped after a short distance due to the obvious effects of the pepper ball.

34-year-old Joshua Dieffenbach was taken into custody without further incident. He was transported to Bothwell Regional Hospital to be evaluated by medical staff. He is currently in the custody of the Sedalia Police Department until a warrant can be issued.

The Sedalia Police Department is requesting 10 counts of Assault 1st Degree on a law enforcement officer, Property Damage 1st Degree, and Felony Resisting Arrest. The Missouri Highway Patrol, Pettis County Sheriff’s Office, and Pettis County Joint Communications assisted with the incident.

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

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