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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Carjacking curtailed: Suspect jailed on robbery complaint

  • A suspect remained jailed Monday on a first-degree robbery complaint after allegedly forcing himself into a woman's vehicle and then grabbing onto the steering wheel when she stopped her vehicle on Main Street.
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  • A suspect remained jailed Monday on a first-degree robbery complaint after allegedly forcing himself into a woman’s vehicle and then grabbing onto the steering wheel when she stopped her vehicle on Main Street.
    Witnesses called 911 and a Shawnee police officer arrived and pulled that suspect from the vehicle to make the arrest.
    Police had first responded to the area of 9 E. Main after a caller reported he was being held at gunpoint. That male called police a second time and said he had been shot at, a filed report shows. Officers responded but did not locate anything.
    Moments later, a citizen called police and reported a male was attempting “to take an elderly female’s vehicle at Main and Pennsylvania Streets.”
    Cpl. George Stafford arrived first and observed a suspect, later identified as Joseph Bill Nichols, 33, “forcing himself into a vehicle with both hands on the steering wheel.”
    The report shows Cpl. Stafford had to physically remove Nichols from the vehicle and place him under arrest. Formal charges have not been filed.
    Officer Austin Bizzell’s report shows he spoke with the woman and two witnesses about what happened.
    The woman reported she was driving westbound on Main Street and was approaching Pennsylvania Street when she saw a man, identified in the report as Nichols, walking in the middle of the street in her lane of traffic.
    The woman stopped her vehicle to avoid running over him, the report shows, then Nichols allegedly opened the woman’s car door and tried to force himself inside the vehicle.
    The woman told police she tried to push him away, but he grabbed onto the steering wheel and would not let go. That’s when Cpl. Stafford arrived and made the arrest.
    When police spoke with Nichols, officers noted in the report that he was sweating profusely and was “rambling about people trying to kill him,” the report reads, with officers indicating he was “shaking badly.”
    Nichols was taken to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center, where he remained jailed Monday on $200,000 bond.
    Case reports will be turned over to the district attorney’s office for consideration of any formal charges.
    Watch for updates.

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