Stand-off Following Pursuit Ends Safely in Cedar County

LAUREL — Law enforcement personnel from several agencies were able to safely conclude a standoff situation this afternoon near Laurel.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., a trooper observed a Ford Focus parked on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 20 near Belden. As the trooper attempted to check on the vehicle, the driver woke up and drove off. The trooper pursued as the vehicle fled at ordinary highway speeds.

In Laurel, the vehicle turned northbound on Highway 20. Troopers were able to utilize spike strips to bring the vehicle to a stop just north of Laurel on Highway 20.

The driver refused to exit the vehicle and did not respond to repeated commands from troopers. Multiple agencies arrived on scene to assist in the situation.

After approximately 2 ½ hours, and several attempts to have the driver exit the vehicle voluntarily, troopers deployed pepper spray to the area. The driver then exited the vehicle was taken into custody.

Personnel on scene observed the subject to be experiencing a psychological episode. He was placed in emergency protective care. No persons were injured during this situation.

During this stand-off Highway 15 was closed from Laurel north to Highway 20 and the schools in Laurel & Coleridge were placed in “lockout” mode.

NSP was assisted by Nebraska Game and Parks, Laurel Police, Laurel Rescue, and the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office.