Cozad, Ne. — Two individuals are incarcerated and face multiple charges following a three-county pursuit on Interstate 80 from Darr to near the Wood River interchange.
The Cozad Police Department began a pursuit of an SUV Wednesday night after an employee at Dollar General in Cozad reported possible shoplifting and suspicious behavior. A Cozad Police Officer pursued the vehicle carrying a Colorado license plate and noted the driver accumulated several traffic violations while speeding away from him. Once the vehicle turned east onto US Highway 30, the officer terminated the pursuit per department policy.
An NSP Trooper picked up pursuit of the vehicle at 10 p.m. as it turned onto I-80 at the Darr interchange and headed eastbound. Speeds on the interstate reached 101 mph. The suspect’s vehicle almost caused an accident by nearly side-swiping another vehicle.
Several agencies assisted in bringing the pursuit to a conclusion. The agencies deployed stop spikes at several locations which were successful in deflating the fleeing vehicles’ tires and the vehicle came to a stop at mile marker 300 near the I-80 Wood River interchange.
The pursuit lasted about an hour. The driver was identified as 50 year old Michael Cinocco. He was taken into custody without further incident. A female passenger was also taken into custody. Cinocco’s license was checked and it was found that he had a suspended Colorado driver’s license. Cinocco admitted to using meth a day and a half prior and hadn’t had much sleep. A drug influence evaluation on Cinocco at the Grand Island State Patrol Office determined Cinocco was under the influence.
A court document says a female was seen by an employee of Dollar General in Cozad, walking out with items that she did not pay for. Following the stop, the female, 19 year old Kerstie Arnold of Aurora, Colorado admitted that she took colored pencils from the store. Arnold was arrested for shoplifting.
Eventually, both individuals were booked into the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center in Lexington.
At her arraignment in Dawson County Court Thursday, Arnold pleaded guilty to shoplifting and was sentenced to time served and $50 court costs.
Cinocco was arraigned on charges of flight to avoid arrest, a Class 4 felony and DUI-drug-1st offense, a Class W misdemeanor. His bond was set at 10% of $100,000. Cinnoco’s preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 28 at 11 a.m.