Hy-Vee shoplifter drags Belton officer with car and leads police on 100 mph chase

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BELTON, Mo. -- A Grandview woman is behind bars in Cass County after police said she injured one officer and led others on a wild 100-mph chase.

A simple shoplifting call to the Belton Hy-Vee Sunday night, Oct. 20, quickly spiraled out of control.

"Think before you act," Belton Police Lt. Dan Davis said. "People can get hurt or killed in the blink of an eye."

A Belton Police officer said he tried to stop 33-year-old Talisha Muhammad from stealing a cart full of groceries.  He grabbed her car door and seat belt.  She allegedly threw the car in reverse, dragging the officer before he fell to the ground.

"Thank god he didn't go under the wheels. Thank god no pedestrians got hit.  This could've been exponentially worse," Lt. Davis said.

Although the officer wasn't killed, police say Muhammad still put a lot of people in danger.  From Hy-Vee, she zigzagged through several neighborhood streets.

"It was quite a surprise.  Sure interrupted our dinner," Larry Read, a resident in the area, said.

Read said, at first, he only saw police flying down his dead end road.  Moments later, he saw Muhammad's black car driving around the back of his neighbor's house, then through the front yard and up a grassy embankment.  Police said Muhammad sped off at 90 mph, blowing through a stop sign.

"I could hear a lot of the sirens, so I was going to pull over," Nancy Denkler, who was driving in the area, said.

The next thing Denkler knew, her SUV was sideswiped by the runaway driver.

"It just really scared me and upset me," Denkler said.

Cass County Sheriff's deputies and Grandview Police joined the pursuit, ultimately using stop sticks on Muhammad's car along I-49.

According to court records, Muhammad didn't give up there. She jumped out of the moving car and tried to make a run for it.

"Had this person not chose to run in this particular case, it would've been a city charge of shoplifting.  Their decisions and their actions is what escalated this to a felony-level crime, injured our officer, placed him in extreme danger," Lt. Davis said.

Court documents show Muhammad told police her pimp demanded she "boost the groceries," and that she ran in fear he'd beat her if she talked to police.  Now behind bars, Muhammad is refusing to name the alleged pimp and is facing a slew of felony charges for fleeing and assaulting an officer.

Muhammad has a criminal history, including past charges for prostitution and theft.

The officer hurt in the ordeal is expected to make a full recovery.  He was wearing a body camera, and there are at least two dash camera videos of the pursuit, which will now be evidence in the case.

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