High Speed Chase in Thomas County

Shelby GardnerMay 15, 2018

On Monday, May 14th of 2018 a high speed chase went through the areas of Colby, Rexford, and Gem. Thomas County Sheriff’s Department, Colby Police Department, Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Kansas Bureau of Investigation all took part in the case. The official press release from Thomas County Sheriff’s Department on the events from yesterday is shown below.

**Official Press Release**

At approximately 9:54 A.M., the Communications Officer was contacted about a suspicious person removing a tag from a vehicle.

At approximately 10:01 A.M., a Thomas County Sheriff’s Deputy initiated a traffic stop. Timothy Leonard Lee Medel, 32, Denver, Colorado, waited until the Deputy was out of his vehicle attempting to make contact and then sped away.

At approximately 10:03 A.M., the Deputy informed the Communications Officer of a pursuit in progress. The vehicle being pursued by the Deputy was wrecked and abandoned. Medel was then pursued on foot by a Colby Police Department Officer. The Communications Officer informed Law Enforcement Officers involved that the vehicle was stolen.

At approximately 10:04 A.M., Medel stole a vehicle from Wheatridge Road, Colby, Thomas County, Kansas. Medel drove erratically and vehicles were pulling over to avoid being hit. Medel swerved at a different Deputy and forced the Deputy into a parking lot.

At approximately 10:05 A.M., Medel exited city limits heading Eastbound on College Drive, Colby, Thomas County, Kansas.

The pursuit continued through fields, multiple fences, and county roads and another vehicle was stolen from McCarty Dairy, Southwest of Rexford, Thomas County, Kansas.

At approximately 10:30 A.M., the pursuit continued through the City of Gem, Thomas County, Kansas, including through residential yards.

After the vehicle left Gem, the pursuit continued through fields and on county roads West of Gem, Kansas.

At approximately 10:48 A.M., the stolen vehicle was located at approximately East of where County Road 24 and County Road U would intersect. The stolen vehicle was found to be unoccupied. A perimeter was set up to located Medel.

At approximately 11:39 A.M., Medel was arrested without further incident through assistance of the Kansas Highway Patrol K-9 Unit.


Colby Public Schools and Golden Plains Public School and nursing homes in Colby were advised of the pursuit and initiated lock down procedures.

The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office, Colby Police Department, Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Kansas Bureau of Investigation assisted in the apprehension of Medel.

Thank you to the Communications Officers for providing essential information to the Law Enforcement Officers involved in the pursuit and to the schools. The Communications Officers were critical in protecting the public and Law Enforcement Officers.

Public request for assistance: If you were a witness to any portion of the pursuit or have property damage to your yard, fence, or field. Please send a written statement reference case number TH18-214 with your contact information to [email protected]

The above is merely allegations and all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Formal charges will be filed by the Thomas County Attorney’s Office.

In order to preserve the rights of the accused and the further investigation that is being conducted, this is all the information being released from the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office at this time.






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