Tractor police chase gives 12-year-old golfer quite the story

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Posted at 9:24 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 17:03:04-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — When the tractor that police were chasing finally came to a stop in a creek at the Berea Golf Club, Derek Hicks was far from relieved. The man who was driving the tractor started to run toward Hick’s 12-year-old son Cooper, who was hiding behind a tree.

“Your heart sinks and you just have this feeling of hopelessness," Hicks said. He recorded the chase on his phone until the man took off toward his son.

The man never reached Cooper. He was tased only feet away.

“I was scared, I didn't know what was happening, I just wanted to go home,” Cooper said.

Jared Wehrle, identified as the man who fled, faces nine charges after police allegedly chased him from a gas station in Berea, through intersections, and ultimately arrested him at a golf course.

According to the arrest citation, an off-duty police officer called about Wehrle fueling his blue tractor at a gas station. An officer made contact with Wehrle and advised him to stop the tractor, but Wehrle allegedly attempted to leave the tractor several times before nearly running the officer over with the back rear tire.

“There were several times I thought he would run into the cops but he kept turning and getting around them,” Hicks said.

Police say he nearly ran over two bicyclists.

“He had pretty intense look on his face, looked like he was trying to get away but it did seem like he was holding his hand up, like every time he almost hit a cop car, it was almost like he was saying sorry.”