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Suspect falls asleep, and hostages escape

Sun., Sept. 13, 2009, midnight

DOVER, Kan. – Two newlyweds held hostage in their eastern Kansas home on Saturday escaped unharmed when the man holding them captive fell asleep – after they gave him pillows and a blanket, authorities and family members said.

Jesse Dennis Dimmick, 23, was shot and injured when confronted by officers as they stormed the beige, one-story ranch-style house in Dover, a tiny town about 15 miles west of Topeka. Police said Dimmick – wanted in connection to a homicide in Colorado and burglaries in three states – crashed a stolen car into the couple’s front yard after leading police on a chase.

Family members said the couple befriended Dimmick after he forced his way into their home. They offered him something to drink and gave him pillows and blankets so he could lie down in their bedroom. When he dozed off about 2 1/2 hours later, they ran from the house.

The chase began about 50 miles west in Geary County when sheriff’s deputies spotted a car that authorities said Dimmick stole in Colorado.

“The suspect ended up having a couple of accidents along the way,” Topeka police Capt. Jerry Stanley said. “It was a pursuit that ended up in the front yard.”

Dimmick was shot once in the upper left part of his chest, though his injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, said Kansas attorney general spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett. He underwent surgery Saturday afternoon.

The couple, Jared and Lindsay Rowley, were married last week and went with police to Topeka to answer questions following the incident, family members said. They said Lindsey Rowley is studying criminal justice at Kansas State University.

Family members said they received text messages from the couple while they were inside the house and passed them on to authorities.

Authorities were looking for Dimmick in connection with a homicide at a motel in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo.

On Friday, Geary County deputies began chasing Dimmick after learning that the vehicle he was driving had been stolen in Greeley, Colo. During the pursuit, Dimmick wrecked the vehicle near Junction City and fled on foot, the Kansas attorney general’s office said.

Officials spent hours searching for him Friday, then spotted him Saturday in a second stolen vehicle, authorities said.


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