By Julie Ann Madden
Concern over children’s safety caused Elk Point-Jefferson Community School officials to lock down their schools on Sept. 18 while police pursued an Elk Point man last week.
Scotty Allen Hughes, 32 of rural Elk Point, S.D., was finally caught at an Akron residence, arrested and transported to the Plymouth County Jail.
On Sept. 17, Union County authorities were alerted that South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers had been chasing a person driving a 2011 Chevrolet pickup out of Vermillion, Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges told The Akron Hometowner.
The pursuit continued through Union County and about 11:45 p.m., Plymouth County sheriff’s deputies were advised the person was heading into Iowa near Westfield.
According to Plymouth County sheriff’s report, when deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver continued south from the Iowa Highways 3 and 12 intersection about one mile north of Westfield. Approximately two miles south of Westfield, the vehicle entered a cornfield and deputies did not follow. A short time later, deputies noticed a fire in the field and when they checked, they found the truck involved in the pursuit fully-engulfed in flames. As a result of the fire investigation, deputies were able to identify the driver as Hughes.
At about 8:00 a.m. the next morning, Sept. 18, the Union County Communications Center received a call about a fire in a house owned by a person Hughes had been targeting, said Limoges. Based on the information known and the unknown location of Hughes, the school was locked down.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., Hughes was found in Akron and taken into custody without incident, according to the sheriff’s report. He was charged with serious misdemeanor eluding and an unrelated charge of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, also a serious misdemeanor. Hughes was held.
As of Sept. 22, Hughes is hospitalized, according to a Plymouth County Jail spokesperson.
A Union County arrest warrant has been issued for Hughes, and as soon as he signs an extradition waiver, he will be transported to Union County Jail, according to Limoges.
In Union County Court, Hughes has been charged with Felony II first degree arson, Felony II burglary in the first degree; Felony III intentional damage to property more than $100,000; and Felony IV first degree intentional damage to property $1,000 to $100,000.