Caseyville Detective Jeff Wilkinson

Caseyville Detective Jeff Wilkinson

Posted in the East St. Louis Forum

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Concerned Citizens Group

Collinsville, IL

#1 Aug 23, 2012
Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth is still gathering information about the police chase that left Caseyville Police Detective Jeff Wilkinson seriously injured Tuesday after he crashed his police cruiser into a bridge support in St. Louis.
Roth said he is waiting for reports and 911 records about the case. He will also meet with members of the village's board of trustees before determining whether Wilkinson followed the department's pursuit policy when he pursued two suspects in a Fairview Heights theft across the Mississippi River.
"I don't have the complete facts," Roth said.
Caseyville's policy states that officers will refrain from entering interjurisdictional pursuits unless assistance from the pursing agency is requested and such assistance is approved by a supervisor.
No Fairview Heights officers participated in the chase, Fairview Heights Police Lt. Steve Evans said. Also, Fairview Heights police never requested that any other agencies pursue the suspects, but it would not be their place to tell an agency not to conduct a pursuit, Evans said.
"We would not pursue for a theft -- for a theft alone," he said.
A supervisor will decide whether to continue a pursuit into another jurisdiction, Caseyville's policy states. Wilkinson, a 12-year veteran and the department's main investigator, was the senior officer on duty, said Roth, who was in a meeting with his police radio scanner off at the time of the chase.
Wilkinson apparently got involved in the chase after hearing about the theft in the neighboring community on his police scanner, according to Roth.
Wilkinson, 38, was in fair condition Wednesday at St. Louis University Hospital for injuries to his head, ankle and hip. He was expected to remain in the hospital for another week or two, Roth said. Wilkinson could not be reached for comment.
The thieves are still on the loose, according to Evans.
The incident began at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, when two men grabbed about 15 to 20 pairs of jeans and capri pants from The Buckle at St. Clair Square and ran off. A Buckle employee chased the two men and saw them go into an early 2000s, white Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which fled northbound on Illinois 159.
Wilkinson spotted the suspects' vehicle on Interstate 64 and followed it, Fairview Heights police said.
Evans said a Fairview Heights police sergeant overhead Wilkinson ask a dispatcher about the incident and relayed to him that it was a theft and the suspects were driving a Monte Carlo with no registration.
Wilkinson followed the car into St. Louis where he exited Interstate 70. Wilkinson crashed near 10th and Chambers streets in North St. Louis when he attempted to avoid another vehicle, clipped it and slammed into a bridge support, St. Louis City Police spokesman David Marzullo said. The people in the other car were not injured, and the police cruiser was totaled.
Further details about the chase have not been made available. Public records requests for reports and 911 and video recordings are pending with St. Louis and Caseyville police.
Caseyville police pursuit policy, which was taken from the Illinois Model Pursuit Guidelines that date to 1993, does not list which crimes should warrant a pursuit. The policy states, however, that the following criteria must be met before a chase is started: The suspect is attempting to evade arrest, and the suspect, if allowed to escape, may present a danger to human life or cause serious injury.
The policy further states that the officer must weigh the need to immediately arrest the suspect against the degree of risk to which officers and others are exposed as the result of the pursuit.
"Peace officers are reminded that they are under no legal obligation to initiate a pursuit, and that in many circumstances the safety of the public will dictate that no pursuit be initiated, and/or it be discontinued," the policy states.
Concerned Citizens Group

Collinsville, IL

#2 Aug 23, 2012
ST. LOUIS ( KMOV.com )– News 4 has received several emails and phone calls inquiring why a Caseyville police officer on Tuesday risked other lives after going on a high-speed chase over 20 pairs of pants.

The officer in question responded to the The Buckle in the St. Clair Square Shopping Center in Fairview Heights around 11;40 a.m. after two suspects grabbed the pants and ran from the store.

Police said the Caseyville officer saw a car matching the suspects’ description and chased the vehicle before crashing near 10th and Chambers Street off Highway 70.

The officer suffered head, hip and ankle injuries and remains in the hospital.

But the real question is should the officer have been chasing the suspects in the first place?
crazt

Collinsville, IL

#3 Aug 24, 2012
don't know the policy but ya he was wrong that is what is wrong with small town cops they all want to be heros
VTX1800

Collinsville, IL

#4 Aug 24, 2012
small town cops need to leave the high speed chases to the professionals. They are just not experienced enough to drive cruisers at high speeds.
FiveWordsOrLess

Collinsville, IL

#5 Aug 24, 2012
How long was this cop going to chase these suspects in Missouri had he not crashed? It doesn't sound like he crossed the river and then called it off. It sounds like he was going to keep going and going. This seems way beyond the call of duty. And probably way beyond what Caseyville's pursuit rules are. He may have put other lives at risk (including his own) just to recover a trunk full of jeans? Also, I like how the headline makes the Caseyville officer the passive recipient of injury. It was the "chase" that injured the cop… not the cop's driving.
yep

Caseyville, IL

#6 Aug 26, 2012
The solution is simplicity itself.
When blacks go into a mall, it should be legal to just shoot them. They're only there to harass the humans, or steal.
Unbelievable

Collinsville, IL

#7 Aug 26, 2012
Luckily no one was killed. The mayor and village board need to investigate.
Rich

Collinsville, IL

#8 Aug 26, 2012
Although I feel for this police officer and hope he isn't injured too badly, why on earth was he pursuing a bunch of shoplifters in a car chase from IL to MO, endangering the lives of innocent bystanders. Don't the police have radios? Couldn't he just have called ahead to the St. Louis PD and ask them to intercept this carload of morons? I'm getting really tired of the cowboy cop antics displayed by Collinsville, Caseyville, Fairmont City, etc. Very unprofessional!
Casey

Collinsville, IL

#9 Aug 26, 2012
I was the one that was driving the car that the POLICE hit.... I am not saying that he thought today oh yeah I plan on hitting innocent civilians today.... but I do believe my life and everyone elses life in my car, and the cops life are worth more than jeans... say they stole $1000 worth of jeans (which is a felony)... divide that up by 6 (5 in my car, and the cop himself)...is that what our lives are amounted up to? there were NO lights or sirens to give us any indication that there was a pursuit going on... when I was making my turn I was hit... for those that think that this was "justified"... you tell that to my 2 year old son who now tells me to be careful of cops when we get in the car... again I am not saying he did it on purpose.. but I am saying that yes in some ways it was wrong....
Kyle

Collinsville, IL

#10 Aug 26, 2012
Now that we conclusively know that policy was disregarded, and it was actually the POLICE OFFICER that hit the car of civilians, I demand justice!
Kirk

Collinsville, IL

#11 Aug 26, 2012
Was this a "high speed pursuit"? Uhh.. well by the looks of the mangled police car, he wasn't going 10 mph when he crashed his car & he wasn't doing 30mph either, he was probably doin atleast 80mph which is above the speed limit. Thank goodness no innocent bystanders were killed.. over some fools shoplifting some capri pants.. seriously... A "seasoned" PO chasing somebody at high speeds for something that wasn't a felony is rediculous... if there were no guns displayed or deadly weapons used in the robbery then I hope the people who's car was sideswiped sue the pants off the Police Dept for an unjustified chase. Maybe STL will activate the Major Case Squad to investigate this as well.. lets just waste some more man power on this
Brittany

Collinsville, IL

#12 Aug 26, 2012
Murder, Kidnapping, or a crime putting innocent lives at risk; those should be pursued. I don't think shoplifting, drug dealing , minor traffic infraction warrant risking innocent bystanders by initiating a potentially dangerous pursuit. Across state lines, there are restrictions on pursuing charges on child molesters and kidnappers in other states; I guess couple pair of jeans is worth it though.
Donald

Collinsville, IL

#13 Aug 26, 2012
He didn't radio the stl cops for assistance because why? Glad he will be o.k. though.
Patty

Collinsville, IL

#14 Aug 27, 2012
That was my family in the car that the Caseyville officer hit! If the Caseyville police department can justify the high speed chase across state lines over stolen jeans over the safety of every person in the vicinity of the speeding car, then what does that tell you about how much they value human life. A "seasoned" officer that makes that kind of decision with or without his departments ok, with or without backup through construction zones and packed traffic is irresponsible in my opinion. I'm sure he didn't mean to hit my daughter's car that was carrying not only my daughter but her two year old son, my 13 year old granddaughter, her 13 year old friend and my granddaughters mother. If the police are justifying the chase and the actions of the Caseyville police department then why are they not telling the truth to the news agencies? Is it because they know that their actions were wrong and that many lives were put in serious danger? If they are proud of their decision then they should be standing in front of the cameras and telling the public that and personally telling me and my family that they were totally in the right to risk their lives! You can argue all day long about the officers right to chase stolen jeans and it was ok because his supervisor ok'ed it, but at the end of the day it wasn't your innocent family who almost paid the price for their decisions. It was mine!
Forman

Collinsville, IL

#15 Aug 27, 2012
He chased them that far just for shoplifting clothes?, I hope there is more to this.
boogie1

Collinsville, IL

#16 Aug 27, 2012
What about the car he ran off the road?
hiker

Collinsville, IL

#17 Aug 27, 2012
I have a lot of respect for our police officers and for the most part they are the very best but that has nothing to do with this officers bad judgement. This policeman certainly does not deserve special treatment in court. If you dance the dance you pay the fiddler.
Concerned Citizens Group

Collinsville, IL

#18 Aug 30, 2012
Between the fishing dock and this officers actions I dont know whats worst!!!!
Kyle

Collinsville, IL

#19 Aug 30, 2012
The officer is a government worker as I am. We are heavily scrutinized, and should be. Remember those sisters that were killed by the officer going 120 mph or something close to that? I'd like to avoid such situations. This officer needs to be fired asap.

Since: Aug 12

United States

#20 Sep 1, 2012
I know Jeff, he's not a bad guy I've known him for many years since he was a patrolman. However if you dig deep enough this is not his first incident envolving a highspeed collision.

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