Owensville man charged with felony resisting arrest in vehicle tampering case

Laura Schiermeier

An Owensville man on Sunday evening led a Maries County Sheriff’s deputy on a high speed chase on Highway 28, from Belle into Osage County, where highway conditions were poor due to snow.

Joshua R. Barton, 31, of Owensville, has been charged by the Maries County Prosecuting Attorney with four felonies and one misdemeanor. 

The sheriff’s office reports the vehicle Barton was driving was stolen from Owensville. When the officer tried to stop Barton, he took the ditch and began to flee. Barton stopped after the vehicle broke down. He continued to flee from law enforcement officers on foot and was apprehended when deputies had to forcefully take him into custody.

Barton resisted arrest and assaulted the deputies including grabbing the genitals of one of the on-scene officers and kicking a deputy. Barton continued his violence in the patrol car, kicking and damaging the vehicle. Sheriff Chris Heitman said the deputies were forced to taser and pepper spray Barton to keep him under control.

Heitman said Barton was impaired and continued his violent behavior at the sheriff’s office where he would not stand still for a mug shot. Heitman said two minutes after the mug shot was taken, Barton chest-bumped the sheriff and there was an altercation and Barton was pepper-sprayed a second time.

He had to be isolated and it took him some time to calm down. Heitman said Barton told him he was going to Belle to see a girl when the chase began. He told them whiskey was the reason he was acting this way. Heitman said Barton, who is a convicted rapist, made terrible statements to him and his deputies about raping women and girls they know. 

He has been charged with the class D felony of tampering with a motor vehicle, the class E felony of resisting/interfering with arrest for a felony, the class E felony of resisting arrest/detention/stop by fleeing, the class E felony of first degree property damage, and a misdemeanor for exceeding the posted speed limit.

He is being held in the Maries County Jail with no bond until his court appearance.

Heitman said the Maries County Sheriff’s Office will continue to pursue persons who do crimes in the county and flee from law enforcement.

Owensville police report felony charges filed against Barton

Owensville police on Monday obtained felony charges against Barton through Gasconade County Circuit Court.

Barton is charged here with stealing a motor vehicle and tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree. Bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

Sgt. Scott Griffith and patrolman Stephen Bryant investigated two vehicle thefts including one which was returned undamaged to a parking area behind the local Moose lodge. The other, taken from an alley in the 200 block of West Madison Avenue, was involved in the pursuit Sunday which ended with Barton’s arrest near Belle, according to Griffith. Both thefts were reported Sunday.

Felony warrant arrest made Monday by OPD

Owensville police made a felony warrant arrest Monday on Jeremiah Hotujac in the 400 block of South First Street. Hotujac had an outstanding capias (no bond) warrant out against him alleging a parole violation, according to Griffith. 

Owensville police are also seeking charges against Hotujac for violent threats he made during a peace disturbance at a local restaurant on Feb. 3. OPD patrolmen Stephens, Josh Smith and Brenn Finley made the arrest.

(With additional reporting by Dave Marner of The Republican’s staff).