TOPEKA, Kan. – There are new revelations about Senator Gene Suellentrop’s arrest for DUI and fleeing law enforcement. The affidavit of search warrant and affidavit of probable cause was released to 13 News after a request for disclosure was filed. Suellentrop’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at 0.17.
After his arrest at 12:49 a.m. on March 16, the officer’s report reveals that the Senate Majority Leader commented “All for going the wrong way” and referred to him as “donut boy” while in the intoxilyzer room. Suellentrop, 69, refused a breathalyzer test, however, Judge Penny Moylan signed a search warrant for a blood sample. At Stormont Vail, the officer writes that Suellentrop became “slightly aggressive in his tone”. He writes that Suellentrop “looked me up and down stating he played state sports competitively in high school” and he could “take me”.
During the pursuit, the affidavit reveals that speeds reached 90 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. Officer Austin Shepley of Capitol Police writes that dispatch notified officers of a white SUV traveling the wrong way, westbound in the eastbound lanes from I-470 and Burlingame. He notes that “As the oncoming vehicle quickly approached, I narrowly missed the vehicle as it passed by, swerving onto the outside shoulder.” The officer was then forced to turn around into oncoming traffic himself to pursue the white SUV driven by Suellentrop.
As Suellentrop continued to drive, the officer writes that the senator “used his right turn signal on the curve” on the Polk-Quincy viaduct. Before reaching the 4th Street bridge, there was a close call as Suellentrop’s white SUV nearly hit a black SUV that was forced to weave across lanes of traffic and to the outside shoulder, “narrowly missing the white SUV.”
Officer Shepley writes he knew he needed to ensure the safety of other motorists by ending the pursuit, so he attempted two Tactical Vehicle Interventions (also known as TVI or PIT maneuvers). Shepley says the first TVI was unsuccessful, but the second one was effective and the white SUV driven by Suellentrop nearly hit the center barrier wall. According to the affidavit, the vehicle dropped to 5 miles per hour, and the driver came to a “complete stop putting the vehicle in park just past the 4th St. bridge on I-70.”
Shepley got out of his patrol car, drew his pistol and gave the driver commands to shut the SUV off. He writes that the driver did not respond to his repeated commands to shut the car off. Two Topeka Police officers also arrived to assist. The officer notes that Suellentrop “looked back at me with a confused, frightened, blank stare. He was not registering my commands or responding to them.” The report reads that the officer could smell the odor of alcohol beverage coming from inside the vehicle.
Suellentrop allegedly tried to pull away from officers as they attempted to remove him from the vehicle. A Kansas driver’s license inside the man’s wallet positively identified him as “Gene Suellentrop”. The officer “noticed his eyes were watery, droopy, and he had bloodshot eyes.” Officer Shepley says he could not understand the Senate Majority Leader as he was “mumbling words with slurred speech.” Shepley read Sen. Suellentrop his Miranda rights and Sullentrop said “No.” when asked if he wanted to speak with the officer at that time.
Once at the Docking Building for further testing, the officer writes that the senator “had trouble with his motor skills getting” out of the car and “struggled to keep his balance” while walking to the intoxylzer room. Shepley told Suellentrop to have a seat and the senator struggled to sit down, “stumbling almost missing the chair.” The senator declined the breath sample saying, “I don’t feel the need to do so.” At that point, a search warrant for a blood sample was submitted to Judge Moylan which she approved.