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CAUGHT: Troopers nab potentially dangerous suspectTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Dustin J. Lankster
Courtesy Photo­Image
April M. Crowley

Law officers caught a potentially dangerous suspect in Sutherland around 6 p.m. Thursday after a chase through the village.

The uproar started around 5:20 p.m. when a Nebraska State trooper conducted a traffic stop of a 2002 Saturn in Sutherland. The driver sped off after the trooper asked for his ID.

The man, Dustin J. Lankster, 31, of Lincoln drove the car through a residential fence and got away. The trooper later found the car south of the school in the parking lot of the Methodist Church, but Lankster, who is wanted in Tennessee, had run away.

A woman, April M. Crowley, 31, of Wahoo was still in the car along with a five-year old child, Sgt. Boje of the Nebraska State Patrol said.

Troopers and deputies watched the perimeter of the town. A Code Red warning was issued, advising Sutherland residents to lock their doors because a potentially dangerous man was on the loose.

The man was white, 5' 10" with a shaved head, white tee shirt, blue jeans and covered in tattoos, the advisory said.

At 5:45 p.m., a Sutherland resident called 911 to say that a man fitting that description was trying to get into a car outside his house.

Again, Lankster allegedly fled on foot before officers arrived, but he was soon found hiding in backyard of home just southeast of high school, Boje said.

Lankster, who was unarmed, was arrested and taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs. Boje said he will be treated and then taken to the Lincoln County Jail.

A trained crime dog was said to be used to help make the arrest.

Lankster was released June 25 after serving nearly four years in the Nebraska State Petitionary for theft and meth possession. Boje did not say what Lankster was wanted for in Tennessee.

Crowley was also jailed. She was wanted in Lancaster County for failure to appear on a drug charge, Boje said. The child was put into protective custody with Health and Human Services.

Lankster was officially charged Friday with driving under the influence of methamphetamine, flight to avoid arrest, driving under suspension (fourth offense,) obstructing police, child abuse, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and willful reckless driving (second offense.)

Lankster asked for a public defender and bond was set at $100,000.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/14/2013
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