Omaha suspect held on $2M bond, shows pattern of running from police
Witnesses tell 6 News they still have a hard time believing how he was able to run from the police while he was cuffed behind his back
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A felon accused of terrorizing several Omahans last fall is finally back in Nebraska to face the charges.
Since November, Vernon Williams of Omaha, 29, has been serving time in Iowa jails and prisons. On Thursday, he appeared before a Douglas County Judge for the first time since he allegedly ran from police.
“Mr. Williams, did you hear me just announce your rights?” said the judge. “Yes, your honor,” said Williams. “Do you understand those rights?” said the judge. “Yes, sir,” said Williams.
Witnesses tell 6 News they still have a hard time believing how he was able to run from the police while he was cuffed behind his back.
In November, officers responded to a call that Vernon Williams was threatening a car dealer at 52nd and NW Radial Highway with a hammer. Officers picked him up without any problems but he complained of shortness of breath.
So instead of booking him, they stopped at the Nebraska Medicine emergency room. That’s when the situation ratcheted up quickly.
Investigators say Williams ran out of the ER and carjacked a 74-year-old woman nearby. He asked her to drive because he was still handcuffed, arms behind his back. She refused.
A Douglas County Prosecutor told the judge: “The victim stated, ‘no, I’m scared and left the vehicle. The defendant hopped into the driver’s seat and drove off.”
Officers said Vernon Williams tore through Dundee yards and smashed into a police SUV along the way. Soon the carjacker learned 36th Avenue doesn’t go all the way through in Field Club.
”He bottoms out here and just follows the turf,” Greg Gilg, GM of The Field Club of Omaha told 6 News in November. Investigators said Williams raced across the Field Club golf course avoiding trees, sand traps, and the two pairs of golfers nearby.
Ultimately investigators said he somehow got on I-80 and floored it into Iowa with law enforcement on his tail. All while his hands remained cuffed behind his back.
The suspect eventually crashed near the Iowa School for the Deaf.
Court observers noted Vernon Williams is developing a pattern. There’s a video of him from the Omaha Police helicopter during a half-hour chase four years ago.
Deputies with the Nebraska State Patrol say Williams also ran from a traffic stop in September.
Vernon Williams remains in Douglas County Corrections on a $2 million bond for the Omaha robbery and terroristic threats charges.
Even if he somehow came up with the money, he wouldn’t get out.
He’s not scheduled to get out of the Iowa prison system until February 2024.
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