BEATRICE – An Omaha suspect who was caught following a high speed chase in Nebraska and Kansas, reportedly also threatened a motorist earlier, in Gage County..at around 12:30 p.m., Thursday.
Sheriff Millard Gustafson says a Beatrice man reported he was driving east on Hickory Road and passed over the Big Blue River bridge, when he noticed a westbound vehicle in the wrong lane. The vehicles nearly collided, and the Beatrice man swerved to avoid the collision.
After continuing east toward Beatrice, the man observed the same vehicle, a blue Chrysler Town and Country, coming up behind him at a high rate of speed. The driver of van pulled alongside the Beatrice resident, pointing a handgun toward him. Gustafson says the Beatrice man slammed on his brakes and made U-turn to get away from the suspect. But, the suspect turned around and began chasing the victim.
Several Gage County Deputies and an investigator responded to the scene searching for the suspect vehicle…and meeting with the victim on West Hickory Road.
The suspect van was last seen near the Koch Nitrogen Plant, northwest of Beatrice.
Later, that same suspect vehicle was pursued by Jefferson County law officers into Kansas and then by Kansas Highway Patrol officers before he was captured in Republic County. Deputies there use spike strips to flatten the fleeing van’s tires. The suspect was identified as 47-year-old Octaviano Azpeitiac.
Gustafson says a warrant will be sought for the arrest of the suspect for use of a weapon to commit a felony and making terroristic threats in Gage County.