KCK police change pursuit policy after crash kills girl

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Kansas City, Kan. Police Department announced Thursday that it will temporarily stop vehicle pursuits of those who flee from them, except if the suspect is wanted for a serious felony crime.

This decision comes after an eight-year-old girl died Wednesday night when a man fled from a traffic stop and crashed into a van with a mom and her three kids at 63rd and Leavenworth Road.

The victim is Jasmine Rodriguez, who was a student at Welborn Elementary School, 5200 Leavenworth Rd., in Kansas City, Kan. (Police updated her age on Friday, correcting it from their previous report. Jasmine turned eight-years-old in March.)

Related: Classmate remembers his friend Jasmine

The 35-year-old mother and her two other children -- two young boys -- were also injured.

“The hearts of every man and woman in this department are breaking for the families involved,” Kansas City Kansas Police Chief Ellen Hanson said.

At 8:33 an officer conducted a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation at 63rd and Parallel involving a 27-year-old driver. According to the Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Ellen Hanson, the officer noticed suspicious activity from the driver, which included the driver trying to leave. There was a brief struggle between the officer and the driver. The driver managed to break free and drive away.

At 8:35 the officer asked for permission to pursue northbound on 63rd Street. At 8:35:29, the pursuit was approved. According to police, at 8:35:36, dispatchers were advised of an injury accident at 63rd and Leavenworth Road, seven seconds after the officer received permission to pursue the vehicle.

According to police, the driver fled for about a mile, raced through the intersection at 63rd and Leavenworth and slammed into a van with a mother and three children inside.

On Thursday, Kansas City, Kan., said they would temporarily suspended police pursuits unless it involves felonious crimes.

"For this interim period of time, because we know we`ve had two in a relatively short period of time, so we believe in order for us to do our due diligence for the community, we need to take a good hard look at is that working, or is it not working, to the best of our abilities," said Chief Hanson.

It was the second fatality caused by a suspect running from police in just as many months.

The chief said the change to the pursuit policy is temporary and would be reevaluated. She did not have a timetable for how long the department would keep it in place, but in light of the tragedy, authorities believed it was the right decision.

"The kids were actually appear to be more than likely properly belted in child restraints, but the type of the a crash, sometimes is just going to be more force than they can handle and it looks like that may be what happened here in this case," said Howard Dickinson, Kansas Highway Patrol.

The suspect jumped out of the car and tried to run from police, but they captured him. He was in the hospital Wednesday night and charges were expected to be filed against him.

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26 comments

  • Terry Roberts

    How ignorant can you be? To run from the cops is stupid, as they have radios, helicopters, and tire spikes. It might take them awhile but they are going to trap you. What’s worse in this case is the idiot gave the cop his license so the cop knew who he was. So he gets to stand at least a man slaughter charge now plus fleeing instead of a traffic stop or whatever the police found out, and in the meantime he tore up a family and ended the life of a child because of his stupidity.

  • sandi

    This idiot needs to have his driver’s license taken away for a long time, and also be forced to attend this child’s funeral, so he can see for himself how he tore a family apart. Hopefully he will think twice before fleeing from police again.

      • Joe

        He can be charged with Murder, someone died during the commission of a felony (fleeing). 2nd Degree, I believe

      • jfjfjfj

        im so sorry for the lost of the child and im praying for the rest of the family the man driving the car is the father of my two boys he did not mean for anyone to get hurt he has never been in trouble before im not making any excuses for him just sick of all the rude comments

      • Joe

        jfjfjfj i.e.fifi the dog: Yes, he surely was a good man who had never been in trouble before. You sound like another insecure woman who is dependent on their man. If he had never been in trouble before, why did he run. There is a reason and it is too bad that he didn’t die instead of the child. It is women like you who keep making excuses for their man that make me sick to may stomach. I bet when he gets drunk and cannot go to work, you probably call his boss and tell him he is sick. You enable him with your stupid defense and that makes you no better than him.

      • yachira

        Fifi..
        you’re tired of the rude comments. and I feel destroye see the parents crying every day for their daughter and still have her eldest daughter in the hospital from the day of the accident. breaks my heart to know it was her and think she was part of my family. that family is great family that did not deserve that pain. family united and full of love for their children. and if he had never been charged or done anything bad why had to run. it seems that you were not informed or knew your partner. seems to have no feelings to know that a baby girl died 8 years old. why do not you put in their position? How will feel. to the truth that there is still no excuse. but you know what there is a God that does justice.

  • billiejo boyce went to welborn

    That man should be put to death penalty from manslaughter of a little girl who went to wellborn elementary She was only 7yaers old .Jasmine R.I.P WE LOVE U

  • stand up

    I’m feed up with low class garbage ruining our community! The wyandotte county community needs to stand up and get rid of trashy pieces of s#$@ like this. This could be a much better place to live. Its a shame these things happen to innocent children because of ignorant people. Lets all stand up to crime in our community and not just watch our neighborhood be overrun by low life garbage. Its not snitching its doing the right thing so our kids have a safe place to live.

  • Chris

    Weird, not one comment about the pursuit of a high performance, 5000 lb., speeding battering ram thru highly used city streets of our communities by another high performance, 5000 lb., speeding battering ram. Unless this guy decides to stop, it can only end in a horrific crash, in this case like so many others an innocent child is dead that was going home to play,study and get ready for anotrher day of elementary school. Heres an idea, when you pull over these criminals put a sticky electronic pinging GPS on the vehicle and then track it safely. And don’t bring up money, or you will prove you drink the Kool-Aid, how many of these devices was Jasmine’s life worth. If the stats reflecting the carnage these chases cause were mentioned every morning on the news, the use of technology woud replace car chases thru town in a week. And sandi you do need to grow a brain,………….

  • WhySoSerious

    Stop blaming the police and blame the criminals! I feel less safe with the police not being able to chase criminals than I do with them not chasing the criminals do to potential crashes with civilians!

  • MG

    This so saddens me! I understand the father of your two boys did this. What about Jasmines father. His life will forever be changed. This guy deserves what he gets an innocent child is dead because of his action . Period. The two brothers and sister who is still in ICU will never see their sister again.
    Jacklyn her mother will for ever mourn the loss if her child. Jasmine Rest in Piece.