A burglary suspect in a stolen truck, a high-speed chase and hostage situation; police say 42-year-old Jonathan Carlson racked up the felony charges Friday before attempting to take his own life.
Channel 6 News looked into Carlson's background to see if it sheds any light on what led to the alleged crime spree, a perfect example of how far a person can fall aided by drugs.
Our crew spoke with a woman who only wanted to be described as a female relative of Carlson. Her story of Jonathan's descent into drug abuse and the direction it led him is familiar to many people.
Carlson was released from prison just 45 days before police say he went on Friday's crime spree. Carlson was imprisoned for theft and burglary charges as well as possession of meth. He served 3-and-a-half years. He apparently did not want to go back.
Carlson allegedly failed to pull over when approached near the Oakview Mall around 11 a.m. That started an erratic, high-speed chase through several neighborhoods. A north Omaha business captured part of the chase with its security cameras.
When the pursuit became too dangerous the chase was called off, but the police helicopter continued to monitor the lime green pickup. The pilot described several near misses. “There are kids in the street and he just went flying around them and drove up on a yard. We have to get this guy stopped somehow.”
Stop sticks deflated the passenger side tires and the truck came to rest in a yard near 42nd and Spaulding. T.J. Cole watched in disbelief as the chase came to his neighborhood.
"Choppers coming from that way, the police cars coming from that way. The next thing I know SWAT pulled up, the Bomb Squad pulled up, they closed this whole block. There were probably like 100 cops in 10 minutes."
During tense negotiations Carlson is believed to have told 66-year-old Willene Patterson to leave. She was rushed to the hospital. Police believe Carlson then slashed his own wrists.
Carlson's relative said she is not surprised he told Patterson to leave. She said it is not in Carlson's nature to hurt someone. She added Carlson is a very good man who took a wrong step into drugs and his life has gone down from there.
At last report, Carlson was listed in critical condition.