WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- Sheriff's deputies in two counties are searching for a man who they say started a chase and hurt a deputy. It happened during what should have been a routine stop last week.
Pulaski County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Becker drove to back up a coworker. David Cole Nash, 28, sat in a Jeep on the side of I-44 with a woman in the front seat next to him.
Initially, deputies say Nash gave a phony name. Yet, they had his picture from another county and warrants to confirm his true identity. Becker says he called out Nash's real name and told him to get out of the Jeep. That's when, Becker says, Nash panicked.
"He just had one hand on the wheel and one hand on the gear shift and just took off," said Becker. "He didn't care at all. He was just trying to get out of there. I attempted to grab the keys out of the car and ended up getting dragged along with him about 20 feet."
Becker says he pushed himself off the Jeep and ran back to his patrol car to catch Nash.
"This guy just put me at risk of not being able to see my wife or my kids again, so he made it a personal issue to me," Becker said. "He kept cutting in and out of traffic and, at one point, we hit 120 miles per hour during the pursuit. He has absolutely no regard for anybody besides himself, according to his actions."
Four deputies say they chased Nash on the interstate. He then exited and turned off onto a gravel road that ends at a house at the edge of a forest. Becker says the Jeep cruised on the rough terrain.
"It was almost impossible to keep up with him through there," said Becker. "Basically managed to evade us by tight turns around a tree. An off-road vehicle against cruisers, we really couldn't keep up with him."
Nash abandoned the Jeep, and his female passenger, and ran away. Deputies couldn't find him.
That night, Becker went to the hospital for his injuries. He hurt his arm and there is a tear in his hamstring. He says he is thankful to be alive.
"I got home and I told my boys I loved them, and that if anything was going to happen to me to never forget that," Becker said, choking up. "And I told my wife that, no matter what happens, I still love her. And I made her promise, if something happens to me, she'll make sure the boys never forget that I didn't just leave them."
The tense time gave Becker a new focus to catch Nash and he warns that Nash will not be loose for long.
"I'm making it my personal goal in life that I'm going to find him," Becker vowed.
David Cole Nash has a warrant out for his arrest. The Pulaski County sheriff warns Nash is dangerous and should not be approached. If you see him, call 911.