Suspects Lead Police on Pursuit; Also Call in Fake Shooting

Salina Police made two arrests after two female suspects led authorities on a pursuit; during which the passenger called in a fake shooting to divert authorities from the pursuit.

Police Capt. Paul Forrester tells KSAL News that the pursuit started shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19th, when an officer recognized a 1998 Buick Century driving on Ohio St. According to Forrester, the officer knew that the driver didn’t have valid identification.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle at the intersection of Ohio and Iron, however, the driver kept going. The pursuit lasted through the streets of Edison Pl., Westchester, YMCA Dr., Kenwood Park Dr., Prescott, Santa Fe and finally concluding in the parking lot of the Salina Regional Health Center where the vehicle stopped.

Meanwhile during the pursuit, dispatch received a 911 call at 4:43 p.m. of a shooting at Casey’s General Store, 500 N. Ohio. The caller claimed that one man shot another man at the store. However, when authorities arrived they found no evidence of a shooting and witnesses said that there were no shots fired.

Back in the parking lot of the Salina Regional Health Center, the driver of the Buick got out and told officers that the passenger of the vehicle wasn’t breathing. ER staff from the hospital then came out to perform chest compressions, however, shortly after the staff cleared her and said nothing was medically wrong.

Police arrested both driver, 41 year-old Kelly Vermillion of Salina and the passenger, 39 year-old Mendy Befort of Salina.

During the search of the vehicle, officers found 21 grams of methamphetamine, seven grams of marijuana and paraphernalia. They also found Befort’s phone which was used to call in the fake shooting in an attempt to divert police from their pursuit.

Vermillion has multiple charges including felony flee and elude, felony interference possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to distribute, among other charges.

Befort was arrested on a prior warrant as well as charged with making a false alarm and felony interference.