Crime & Courts

Man allegedly led ‘hair-raising’ chase days before Wichita standoff

The night after he stabbed his girlfriend and five days before he looted 3,500 Lortab pain pills and fired shots in a Kmart robbery — events that culminated in a deadly standoff — Jared Woosypiti led officers on a “hair-raising” chase through south Wichita.

At one point during the pursuit, which police called off, the 24-year-old drove a stolen van into a grassy median on K-15 toward a Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy who was trying to get a tire-deflation device from his car. The deputy had to run out of the way, sheriff’s Lt. David Mattingly said Wednesday.

A recording of emergency radio traffic about the chase reveals new details about another chain of events that preceded the 32-hour standoff at Southlake Village apartments, 4141 S. Seneca. The standoff ended late the night of July 11 when Woosypiti was killed by police gunfire, according to a police document.

It appears from emergency radio traffic, in audio provided by, that officers didn’t suspect that the fleeing driver was Woosypiti until after the chase had been called off.

The latest string of trouble for Woosypiti began on July 4. Authorities said that at his grandmother’s home in Derby, Woosypiti stabbed his current girlfriend “numerous times with the intent to kill her,” according to a court document. The document was filed July 5, as a motion to revoke a $25,000 bond he had posted in January in an aggravated battery case in which he was charged with beating another woman. The document said he fled from the stabbing scene in a work vehicle that had the business name on the doors. “The defendant has not been located to date,” the document said.

But around 9 that night, July 5, a police officer in south Wichita began pursuing a blue minivan, driven by Woosypiti.

The emergency traffic begins with a siren wailing and talk of a stolen vehicle in the 3200 block of South Clifton. Multiple officers become involved. At some point, the stolen vehicle goes north on K-15. At another point it is on 31st Street South. It runs a red light. It crosses into oncoming traffic. Someone reports that it’s westbound on Wassall.

A man’s voice breaks in: “They tried to hit me.” It apparently is the voice of the sheriff’s deputy who had to run out of the path of the stolen van.

Mattingly, the sheriff’s spokesman, gave this account: The deputy had been ahead of the chase, parked his patrol car in the 3000 block of K-15 and was trying to get out and set up a device that uses sharp hollow tubes that stick into a tire and cause it to gradually deflate.

“Woosypiti drove at him, leaving the road, going down into the ditch actually, toward the deputy,” Mattingly said.

It happened about 9:05 p.m. July 5, five days before the standoff began.

The deputy saw the approaching van, and “ran from the path of the van as it drove by,” Mattingly said. The van was going fast, but the deputy was not injured. He got into his patrol car to join the pursuit, but the chase was called off shortly afterward. Wichita police terminated the chase, Mattingly said, but he didn’t know why.

Wichita police have declined to comment on details of the chase.

It wasn’t clear what prompted the chase, but it did involve a pursuit of a stolen vehicle, Mattingly said.

Although the chase was ended, it sounds as if officers continue to look for the fleeing van. Someone says, “If there’s anybody out on Hydraulic, we ought to be able to block this off pretty easily.”

The tag number of the stolen vehicle is broadcast.

Someone mentions that there is “going to be an agg(ravated) assault LEO (law enforcement officer)” from the “hair-raising experience on K-15.”

Someone says a caller last saw the van going west on Larkin toward Washington. Someone sees the van heading north “at a pretty good clip.”

Eventually, a voice breaks in, saying there is additional information: The suspected driver is involved in the “Derby cutting (police slang for a stabbing)” and has made threats toward officers.

Someone says the car has last been seen in the South City area. Officers continue to “circulate” in the neighborhood to “see if we can’t find this guy.”

The last mention of the van’s path: Washington and Larkin.

About 1:30 p.m. July 10, a little less than five days after the chase ended, a man carrying a handgun came to the pharmacy area of the Kmart near 47th and South Broadway and demanded drugs, a police report says. The robber dropped his handgun, picked it up and started firing into the ceiling. He was given about 3,500 Lortab pills, a pain medicine that can become addictive. While heading down the main aisle, the robber fired three rounds, hitting a cash register station and the front door, the report said. No injuries were reported.

Someone saw the robber get into a vehicle and head toward Broadway. Police used a partial license tag number to track the suspect to Southlake Village, and the standoff began.

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