A Birch Tree man has been charged with first-degree assault involving a special victim after he and another man led deputies and troopers on a high speed chase and reportedly discharged a gun while shouting threats to law enforcement.
Cody Lynn Pendegraft, 33, was arrested Tuesday on an outstanding Howell County warrant and is held without bond, according to court records.
Shannon County Deputy Chris Vance, in a statement submitted to prosecutors, reported that he was dispatched that day to the Birch Tree City Park regarding a report of a man walking around with a sawed-off shotgun telling people to get into their houses because “something was fixing to happen.”
Vance, Sheriff Darrin Brawley, and two other deputies responded to the scene. A witness reportedly named the suspect, a man who, as of Friday, has yet to be charged related to the incident. The witness also described the vehicle he saw the man leave in, a white extended cab Ford diesel pickup truck with a trash bag over the driver’s side window and no rear bumper. Vance reported he spotted the vehicle at Pine Street and West Street.
He activated his patrol vehicle's lights to attempt a traffic stop and it accelerated, Vance said. He pursued the truck for several miles onto County Road 651 until he found it in a ditch, with the occupants running away across a field.
Vance said he, Lyon, Brawley, and two Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers who also responded heard the suspects yelling “f*** you pigs, I'll kill you," and when the lawmen began crossing the field in pursuit, the threat was repeated as one of the suspects fired three rounds from a firearm.
The area was canvased and a live .22-caliber round was found in the area the shots were thought to come from, Vance said. The lawmen all returned to their vehicles after failing to locate the suspects, and evidence found during a search of the wrecked vehicle appeared to confirm the identity of the suspect by the witness, as well as Pendegraft.
Vance said lawmen received call from dispatch shortly after, indicating that Pendegraft was injured when the pickup truck they were pursuing ran over him and he had called for an ambulance. Vance reported he arrived at a home about 1.5 miles from where the truck wrecked, found Pendegraft and searched him for weapons, finding .22-caliber ammunition in his shirt pocket that matched the brand of the bullet found in the area the shots came from.
A gunshot residue test was performed on Pendegraft at the scene before his arrest on the Howell County warrant.
HOWELL COUNTY CHARGES
The Howell County warrant was for charges filed in November 2020 of unlawfully having a weapon while intoxicated as well as leaving the scene of an accident, related to a July incident.
They charges were filed after Pendegraft allegedly crashed a vehicle into a parked car and a house on the evening of July 31 in Mtn. View, then left the scene on foot.
When Mtn. View Police Officer Timothy Gordon arrived at the scene, he was given the description of a man seen exiting the vehicle and leaving on foot, and when Gordon looked inside the crashed car he reportedly found and secured a shotgun lying in the front seat.
Mtn. View Police Sgt. Michael Pauly arrived on scene and was informed by Gordon the suspect might be armed. Pauly reportedly found the suspect, later identified to be Pendegraft, and held him at gunpoint until Gordon arrived as backup. A loaded .9-mm handgun was allegedly found in the left rear pocket of Pendegraft's shorts.
Gordon reported Pendegraft smelled of intoxicants and had glassy, bloodshot eyes and multiple cuts on his face, a bloody nose and a leg that was possibly broken, and he was transported for medical treatment.
A medical report showed Pendegraft told healthcare providers at Mercy Hospital in Mtn. View he had been assaulted, and he was said to be “angry and belligerent” during his examination, repeatedly threatening the doctor treating him, leading to the incident being reported to the police department and hospital security. Pendegraft reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.19%, more than twice the legal level of 0.08%.
Court records show Pendegraft has been issued 18 tickets for traffic offenses and infractions in Carter, Howell and Shannon counties since 2006, and he was convicted of one drug-related misdemeanor in Howell County and 14 traffic-related misdemeanors in Shannon County since 2010.