Authorities in Whitley County are looking for the man they say led police on a wild chase Sunday evening and was able to get away on foot through a heavily forested area.
Police say Shawn Dople, 32, of Whetstone Road, left three people that were riding in a truck with him as he ran away into a hollow at the end of Bennett Branch road in order to elude authorities. According to Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Bowling, Dople was driving a Ford F150 pickup truck east on Harps Creek Road with four people in the cab total. Bowling said the license plate was also covered with mud and was illegible.
Bowling tried to initiate a traffic stop on the truck for having too many occupants.
"He immediately stomped on the gas and took off," Bowling said. "I pursued him. We were traveling at speeds in excess of 75 to 80 miles and hour."
Bowling said the truck turned down the second Hwy. 904 entrance and traveled toward old Gatliff Mountain, then made an erratic turn onto Bennetts Branch Road.
"I slowed down my pursuit and allowed him to do the same because I knew that road was a dead end," Bowling said.
Police located the vehicle at the very end of the road some ways into the wood, still rolling with three passengers inside the cab. Dople, suspected to be the driver, had fled the scene.
Bowling said the passengers in the truck informed him that Dople was giving them a ride home after their four-wheeler had gotten stuck in the mud at a different location. One of the passengers, 33-year-old Allen Bunch, was arrested on three outstanding warrants. Bowling said the warrants were for alcohol intoxication, tresspassing, theft and failure to appear in court. The other two passengers were released.
Police searched the nearby woods for Dople. A Williamsburg Police Department K-9 unit event assisted in the search, but to no avail.
Authorities believe Dople was intoxicated at the time of the chase and say he has outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Anyone with information regarding Dople’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department at 606-549-6006.
Deputy Alan Onkst also assisted in the pursuit.