Crime & Courts

Officer, television news reporter injured by visitor fleeing Sedgwick County Jail

Three people were arrested Friday afternoon after a chaotic car chase across Wichita that started at the Sedgwick County Jail.

Victor Walker, 28, was at the jail to pick up property from an inmate Friday afternoon when Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies realized he had an active warrant for his arrest, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Myers said.

Deputies had Walker cuffed behind his back and were processing his property when he took off, Myers said.

What followed was like something out of a bad action flick.

As the fleeing man burst out the jail door, he hit a KAKE News reporter as she was entering to do a story for the 6 p.m. news. He then bumped a KAKE photojournalist, knocking his camera from his hands, injuring a woman’s foot, KAKE reported.

“It is alarming, but there’s really not anything you can do to prevent that,” Myers said of the escape. “If somebody wants to flee, they’ll flee.”

The man, still in handcuffs, ran to a black Chevy Camaro parked on the street and got in the driver’s seat, Myers said.

In hot pursuit, deputies followed the man out the door. The KAKE reporter, Morgan Mobley, was pinned behind the door and hit by it each time it opened, according to the television station’s report.

Once inside the Camaro, Walker had some assistance, Myers said. He operated the pedals while a passenger steered. The Camaro hit three parked vehicles outside the jail and ran over a Sedgwick County sergeant’s foot.

The sergeant did not need medical assistance, Myers said.

The Camaro made it from the jail to Kellogg, a major highway running east and west in and out of Wichita. From Kellogg, it exited at Oliver.

On the off-ramp, the Camaro hit two more vehicles and then crashed into a traffic pole, Myers said.

The whole thing took about 7 minutes.

Walker and a passenger, Charles Patton II, 37, were arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault and felony obstruction of justice. Walker was also booked on suspicion of aggravated escape from custody and possession of marijuana.

For his suspected role as the steering wheel operator, Patton could also face aiding escape charges, Myers said.

A woman in the back seat of the Camaro was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

“What happened today is not normal,” Myers said.

Walker was serving an 18-month probation sentence after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a felon in November.

Walker had been arrested and booked into Sedgwick County jail multiple times while on probation. His most recent trip to jail was Monday, daily booking reports show. He was arrested on suspicion of driving with a suspended license, no proof of insurance and traffic violations.

A warrant for Walker’s arrest was issued Thursday because the arrest earlier in the week was a violation of his probation.

“You come up with different ideas to try to prevent something, but you can’t prevent this type of thing from happening. If somebody wants to resist arrest and take off, then that’s what they’re going to do.”