Illinois Man Facing Multiple Charges After Fleeing Police

On Saturday, January 27, at approximately 10:15 a.m., Trooper Kim Zelnis responded to a call at a truck stop on State Road 10 in Demotte for a male being disorderly and leaving the store with unpaid merchandise.

Zelnis was given a description of the male who was supposed to be also carrying a fuel container.Zelnis located a Nissan Altima with Illinois plate on the shoulder of State Road 10 near I-65 with its emergency flashers on. The Nissan had heavy damage to its passenger side. A lone female occupant told Zelnis that they had run out of gas and that the male occupant was at the gas station getting fuel.

While talking to the female, Zelnis observed a male in the field carrying a fuel container approaching the Nissan, he also threw a water bottle into the field before approaching. The male, (later identified as John R. Ratliff Junior, 26 of Riverdale, Illinois was confrontational as Zelnis spoke with him as he put gas in the Nissan. Soon after, a Jasper County deputy and troopers arrived. This is when Ratliff sped off on State Road 10 to north bound I-65. The pursuit was stopped shortly thereafter, due to Ratliff’s reckless driving and unsafe speeds on I-65.

A trooper who was sitting stationary north bound at the 237 mile marker (this is seven miles north of the Demotte exit) was able to deploy his stop sticks and was successful in deflating three of the Nissan’s tires because of his continued reckless driving.

After the Nissan stopped, Ratliff got out of the Nissan and began running east bound into an open filed. Troopers Fred Trammel, his K-9 partner Rykr, Martin Benner and Timothy Borsa ran after Ratliff giving him verbal commands to stop. Ratliff after seeing K-9 Rykr became compliant and walked back to the troopers and laid on the ground.

While Ratliff was in the police car he became irate and uncooperative and at times attempted to bite the door frame of the police car. He was taken to Jasper County Jail in Rensselaer. Ratliff was charged with Resisting Law Enforcement with a vehicle, Reckless Driving with Endangerment, Unsafe Lane movement and Littering.

Jasper County Sheriff Department is handling the case for theft and disorderly conduct.