RAPID CITY, S.D. — At around 1:40 a.m. on January 2, police observed a gold Chevrolet Malibu travelling westbound on Disk Drive.
The police officer recognized the vehicle as one that had recently been reported stolen, and the officer attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle in the area of Pahasapa Road and Le Blanc Drive.
The vehicle accelerated away from the officer at a high rate of speed and the following pursuit covered a large portion of the north side of the city.
At one point, the suspect vehicle crashed into a police patrol car before continuing on. The pursuit eventually led to Harmony Heights Lane before the Malibu turned onto Vista Ridge Road where it hit a dead end.
The vehicle then left the roadway and crashed into a ditch and the driver then fled the vehicle on foot.
Two remaining occupants of the vehicle were ordered out before the Malibu caught fire. They were eventually identified as 29-year-old Joseph Decory and 22-year-old Cierra Walks, both of Rapid City.
While speaking with officers, it was determined that Decory and Walks had both provided false information about the driver of the vehicle, who was known to have committed at least two felonies during the pursuit.
Decory was placed under arrest for misprision of a felony, and a parole hold. Walks was placed under arrest for misprision of a felony, impersonation to deceive law enforcement, a parole hold, and an existing warrant.
A K9 team arrived to the scene to help officers officers track the fleeing driver who was given loud verbal commands to come out of hiding or the police K9 would be used to detain him.
The police K9 tracked the suspect and located him attempting to hide under a nearby camper. The K9 bit the suspect and held him until officers could get him safely detained.
The suspect driver was identified as 19-year-old Tristan Habben of Rapid City.
A medical unit was called to the scene to treat Habben’s injuries sustained in the crash and to evaluate his injuries from the K9 bite.
Habben was ultimately placed under arrest for aggravated eluding, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of a stolen vehicle, and three existing warrants.
All three occupants of the vehicle were transported to the Pennington County Jail.