Stand-off following pursuit ends safely near Laurel

LAUREL — A portion of Highway 20 north of Laurel was shut down for a few hours Friday, as law enforcement tried to safely end a standoff situation.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., a Nebraska State Patrolman observed a Ford Focus parked on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 20 near Belden. As the trooper attempted to check on the vehicle, the driver woke up and drove off. The trooper pursued as the vehicle fled at ordinary highway speeds.

In Laurel, the vehicle turned northbound on Highway 20. Troopers were able to utilize spike strips to bring the vehicle to a stop just north of Laurel on Highway 20.

The driver refused to exit the vehicle, however, and did not respond to repeated commands from troopers. Multiple agencies arrived on scene to assist in the situation.

After approximately two and one half hours, and several attempts to have the driver exit the vehicle voluntarily, troopers deployed pepper spray to the area. The driver then exited the vehicle and was taken into custody.

Personnel on scene observed the subject to be experiencing a psychological episode. He was placed in emergency protective care. No persons were injured during this situation.

The Laurel Police Dept., Laurel Rescue, and the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

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