BARTON COUNTY — Law enforcement authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the chase of a wanted suspect who died on Monday.
Just after 11p.m., a Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a 2002 Chevy Avalanche driven by 36-year-old Nicholas Curtice of rural Ellinwood, according to Sheriff Brian Bellendir. He was wanted on Barton County District Court warrants and had been involved in numerous encounters with law enforcement.
Curtis fled from the intersection of 5th and Odell in the City of Great Bend. The deputy pursued the suspect through the City of Great Bend and south toward the Arkansas River on Washington Street. The suspect vehicle struck the ravine near the north bank of the river, at which point it was disabled. Curtice exited the vehicle with a firearm and placed it to his head. The deputy ordered Curtis to drop the weapon repeatedly. He then waded into about 4 feet of water and fired a single round.
Barton County Sheriff’s Deputies, Great Bend Police Officers and members of the Great Bend Fire Department searched for Curtice for several hours after the incident. We were unable to locate him due to the swift current and darkness. The search resumed at about 8 AM this morning. Members of the Great Bend Fire Department “swift water rescue team” located the body. A boat from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks assisted and were able to locate the body at about 10:45 a.m. approximately 1200 feet downstream from a location where he had been involved in a confrontation with law enforcement, according to Bellendir.
Curtice had previous convictions for criminal damage to property, flee or attempt to elude law enforcement, driving while suspended and for drugs, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.
In April of 2018, Curtice had been jailed after a high-speed chase in Barton County. In April of 2017, Curtice was captured after a high-speed motorcycle chase following an alleged domestic disturbance in Hoisington.
BARTON COUNTY — Law enforcement authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the chase of a suspect who died on Monday .
Just after 11p.m., sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop a vehicle driven by a wanted person that fled south on Washington Street in Great Bend, according to Sheriff Brian Bellendir.
The vehicle crossed over the flood control dike, enter the riverbed, proceeded approximately ½ mile west when it became disabled.
The driver exited the vehicle with a firearm, entered the Arkansas River and shot himself. The suspect disappeared into deep, fast-moving water, according to Bellendir.
As of 9a.m. Tuesday, emergency personnel have not been able to locate the body. The Sheriff’s Office has contacted Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Great Bend Fire Department swift water rescue team for assistance.
The sheriff did not release the suspect’s name.