For a while Thursday morning the sound of sirens and high revving engines could be heard on the streets of Crothersville as authorities pursued Curtis G. Collman, 36, of Crothersvile for quesioning following a domestic incident and alleged arson.
Speeds reached 80 mph in town and 110 mph as Collman fled west out of town in a black Chevrolet Camaro, police said.
The incident began Thursday morning as Crothersville Police Chief Richard Hanlin talked with Collman’s wife at a family member’s house on East Street.
“She said he had pointed a gun at her and threatened her,” Hanlin said.
Hanlin said he spotted Collman at about 10 a.m. while talking to his wife about an incident earlier in the day at the wife’s home.
He said the couple has been involved in an ongoing dispute for a few of months.
Hanlin began chasing Collman east on County Road 600E (Moore Street) toward Interstate 65. Collman then turned around and returned to town on Moore Street. Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Steward became involved as Collman drove north on U.S. 31.
The pursuit continued as Collman drove back south into town then went west on the Crothersville-Tampico Pike (Co. Rd 600 S). The chase ended when Collman crashed the car into a wooded area on County Road 850E between 700S and 800S, southwest of Crothersville, police said.
Collman fled into a wooded area after jumping out of the still-moving car after driving it into in a field on the west side of Vernon Road about halfway between County Road 700S and County Road 800S, Steward said.
Officers searching the vehicle driven by Collman reportedly found a rifle and a cell phone in the vehicle.
Police set up roadblocks around the area where Collman fled.
At the same time as the chase, Jackson County Sgt. Stan Darlage was sent to investigate the report of a vehicle on fire in an area on County Road 975S southwest of Crothersville.
Hanlin said that fire occurred when Collman reportedly set his truck on fire at his parent’s home, where he was staying.
Collman was captured late Thursday afternoon by Jackson County Reserve Officer and Jail Commander Charles Murphy as Collman walked along State Road 256 west of Austin in Jackson County.
“He was about 500 feet from the Jackson-Washington County line, and I assumed he was probably heading to Washington County across the bridge,” Murphy. “He seemed in a daze. I asked if he knew where he was, and he said he didn’t.”
Collman offered no resistance and was not armed, Murphy said. Police were concerned that he was armed with a handgun.
“He was completely exhausted, covered in mud from head to toe,” Murphy said. “He didn’t offer any resistance at all. I ordered him to get on the ground with his hands up, and he complied.”
Collman was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 6:22 p.m. Thursday and is being held without bond on two felony counts of resisting law enforcement.
Hanlin said he spent Friday interviewing people involved in the case and planned to request additional charges from the prosecutor’s office against Collman.
The potential new charges stem from the domestic disturbance, in which Hanlin said Collman’s wife told police he pointed a handgun at her.
Officers with Crothersville, Brownstown, Seymour, Jackson County, Scott County, Indiana State troopers along with a state police helicopter helped with the search.