A homeless man pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin to felony assault on a police officer after a vehicle chase in February. Sean S. McDaniels was sentenced to nine years in prison as a prior and persistent offender.
McDaniels, 29, pleaded guilty to Class B felony assault on an officer in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office that capped the prison time he could be assessed at 10 years. The state dismissed counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.
The defendant was arrested on three of the charges Feb. 14 after a high-speed chase in Joplin. An officer tried to stop a vehicle near North Street and High Avenue for improper plates, leading to a pursuit in which the fleeing vehicle reached speeds of 80 mph, traveled on the wrong side of streets for several blocks, and ran several stop signs and traffic lights, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
The chase came to an end when officers deflated two of the vehicle’s tires and the driver got out and tried to run. He was stopped with a stun gun, but continued resisting arrest and bit an officer on the arm, according to the affidavit. The vehicle later was reported stolen by its owner.
Circuit Judge Gayle Crane accepted the plea deal and assessed the prison term. Court documents show that McDaniels was prosecuted as a prior and persistent offender because of convictions earlier this year for resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.