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Deputies arrest man after brief high speed chase

Apr 14, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A Riverton man was arrested Wednesday morning after law enforcement reportedly spotted him driving recklessly in city limits.

Officials said alcohol was not involved, but they have not eliminated the possibility that drug impairment was a factor in the incident, which resulted in the arrest of Thomas L. Keele, 46, of Riverton, for reckless driving and attempting to elude an officer.

According to reports, a Fremont County Sheriff's deputy was driving by North Federal Boulevard and Spencer Street when he noticed Keele driving a blue minivan in a "dangerous manner" through a nearby car lot.

"Keele (was) driving at a high rate of speed and weaving," Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said in a press release. "The deputy attempted to stop Keele, but Keele accelerated his vehicle and began to elude the deputy."

The deputy notified dispatchers of the incident at about 10:35 a.m. Wednesday, while Keele reportedly drove his 1997 Chevrolet van south on Federal Boulevard, then west on Pershing Avenue. The deputy followed a "considerable distance" behind during the chase, which reportedly reached speeds of 50-60 mph in the 30 mph zone.

A second deputy intercepted Keele at the intersection of Pershing Avenue and North Eighth Street West, where the suspect reportedly turned south. Lee said Keele stopped a few blocks later at Lombardy Circle and attempted to escape on foot.

"I believe his vehicle became disabled," Lee said Wednesday. "They were able to track him down in the snow (and) place him under arrest."

Keele reportedly was hiding behind a parked vehicle on Northpointe Drive, about one block south of Lombardy Circle.

"The whole thing lasted less than five minutes, if that," Lee said.

He added that no injuries or property damage resulted from the incident.

"But the way he was driving, I don't know how he didn't cause a traffic collision or hurt somebody," Lee said. "He was driving very recklessly. For what reason I have no idea."

Keele was the sole occupant of the minivan, and officials said he did not elaborate as to why he was driving erratically. Lee said Keele's behavior raised suspicions that he may have been impaired, and further charges could arise pending an investigation.

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