[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 52°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 43°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Details of pursuit released

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More details were released Thursday about the events leading to a high-speed pursuit that ended in a single-vehicle accident at the split of United States 40 and County Road 340 West, and the arrest of the driver late Wednesday evening.

According to a press release and information provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the incident began shortly before 4:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Responding to a complaint of public nudity, Patrol Sgt. Dan Best was dispatched to a residence at 6920 W. US 40. Best told The Brazil Times that Karen L. Guess, 42, became agitated, went inside her home and refused to come out when he tried to question her about the incident.

While Best was trying to get Guess to come out the front door, she slipped out another way.

When he attempted to take her into custody, Guest locked herself in her car and refused to come out. As she tried to drive away, Best said Guess allegedly drove her 1993 Pontiac Grand Am in a manner that forced him to jump on top of his patrol car two separate times to get out of the way.

Guess fled the scene and headed eastbound on US 40 at a high rate of speed. At one point during the pursuit, Guess was clocked at 100 mph.

Best said inter-department cooperation helped stop Guess' vehicle.

In an attempt to stop Guess before she entered the heavy traffic along US 40 inside Brazil city limits, which was backed up because traffic lights were not functioning due to the storm, members of the Brazil City Police Department and the Indiana State Police assisted in placing stop sticks in the eastbound lane of US 40, in an area just north of Dairy Queen.

"Traffic in the area was stopped as a safety precaution and all official department protocols were followed during the deployment of the sticks," Best said. "The suspect swerved all the way into the westbound lane of US 40 to avoid the sticks, which is when she overcorrected and lost control of her vehicle."

Guess' vehicle slammed into one utility pole, spun around and hit a second utility pole, ripping the front end off.

Due to the damage caused by the wreck, Best said the vehicle's doors were unable to be opened. As a safety precaution, Best and another officer on the scene had to bust the glass out of one of the doors to get Guess out. She was transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for facial injuries sustained during the crash.

Best, who sustained injuries to his arms from the broken glass, went to the hospital shortly afterwards to do further investigation and be treated for his injuries.

While Guess was being treated at the hospital, she allegedly committed battery by throwing or spitting blood on Best and the two nurses.

Guess was released from the hospital around 9:30 p.m., and was immediately taken into custody and booked into the Clay County Justice Center.

Guess was preliminarily charged with resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, battery by bodily waste to a law enforcement officer, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and public nudity.

The Clay County Prosecutor's Office has the case under review with the potential for additional charges pending because of an ongoing investigation.

Due to Best's open wounds on his forearms, he was sent to both Terre Haute Regional Hospital and Union Hospital to undergo testing and blood analysis for potential diseases, including HIV and various forms of Hepatitis.

The Prosecutor's Office is preparing a Baker Warrant, which is used to officially petition for a variety of medical tests from an individual, to obtain blood samples from Guess for official testing.

Although Best's test results have returned negative at this time, he told The Brazil Times that he would undergo drug treatment as a safety precaution until officially released by a doctor. Best will remain on duty during the treatment.

Best gave credit to his fellow officers and said, "This is a great example of how things go right when departments work together."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Good Job Dan, and to all the local law enforcement. With the storm going at full force and the traffic congestion you all did well to keep her from getting into town and injuring more people. you all definitely don't get enough credit for what you do.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 8:41 PM

Can't she also be charged with throwing blood on the nurses? I think she deserves everything that can be thrown at her.

-- Posted by gingersnap13 on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 9:46 PM

I don't mean to be negative, but, wouldn't you think they'd put stop sticks ALL THE WAY ACROSS the road? It sounds like the fact that they didn't is part of the reason for the accident. Maybe they didn't have time, were hindered by the storm, etc. I'm just saying, there should have been stop sticks in both the east and west bound lanes and for whatever reason, there was not. I think we should ask why?

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 10:24 PM

I'll pass on seeing her nude in public.......or anywhere.

-- Posted by Bruther on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 11:37 PM

Great job Patrol Sgt. Best for apprehending this suspect. Law enforcement can be a very thankless job and it's nice to see that Brazil's department remains dedicated to upholding the law. These guys put their lives on the line everyday so that the people of the city and county can feel safe. While I agree that there are situations where a high speed chase should be called off this does not seem to be one of those cases. This women reportedly attempted to run-over a police officer. Potential criminals need to know that this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated.

-- Posted by 2ndCAV07 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 12:44 AM

I am really disturbed by the eagerness to judge others with little to no information to base these judgements on. I have been reading the posts for this story and fought the urge to say some things because I'm the type of person that likes to mind my own business and not involve myself in that of others. However I feel I must defend the officers of the CCSD because unlike most of the posters here, I know what happened, I was there.

This incident didn't start over public nudity and escalate into a high speed chase. There were events that occured over several days that escalated into public nudity and eventually a high speed chase.

The events that lead up to this accident actually started on June 1st when the woman involved began some disturbing behavior that left her neighbors sleepless and fearful. I won't go into detail of what she was doing that made them feel this way as the case is still being investigated and I don't wish to interfere with the investigation. But it wasn't until her behavior escalated that the first of several 911 calls were made.

It wasn't until the 4th day that the woman involved was outside her home resuming her disturbing behavior, this time in the nude. I have read some of the posts here that act like public nudity is no big deal and officer Best shouldn't have bothered with her. I feel that until your small child looks out the window of your home and says "Mommy, there is a naked lady outside" you have no idea how big a deal it is!

I have also read the comments about letting "the fleeing driver go, you can always get them at their house". Officer Best was at her house, and she did try to run him over TWICE with her car, my family and I saw her do it. We also saw her pull into traffic on HWY 40 and almost hit an oncoming car before officer Best EVER got into his vehicle! The officers of the CCSD had been dealing with this woman for several days, doing the best they could to help her and the community to prevent something like this from happening. They knew the dangers facing the public with this woman on the run and did their best to stop her in the short amount of time they had.

Officer Best did not have alot of time to get people in place to stop her, and I am amazed at how quickly they were able to deploy the stop sticks and have so many emergency vehicles there to stop her. knowing what I know, seeing her behavior for myself over the 4 days leading up to this accident I know chasing her was the right course of action because she had already repeatedly proven herself to be a danger to herself and others.

The 4 days leading up to the accident was a nightmare for my family, and I am VERY grateful to the officers of the CCSD for responding to the calls, taking this matter seriously, and doing everything within their power to not only help my family, but the woman involved, and the community.

I know this post will most likely do nothing to stop the slam fest against the CCSD, but I felt I owed it to them to let the public know that they did everything they could and that there was more to this story than is being told.

As far as my family is concerned the officers of the CCSD are our hero's. They were there for us when we needed them, and they were there for the community whether the community believes it or not.

-- Posted by CntryGirl on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 1:47 AM

Well put CntryGirl.

-- Posted by Jed on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 6:28 AM

To The Rider,

Before anyone posts something about this let me be clear, I am not posting this to be negative or insult anyone. I am just providing information.

As wide as the road is, you would have had to pull more police units away from other duties to put that many stopsticks across the road (there were already several there, not all of them had stopsticks), in return depleting protection from the rest of the city/county. At any given time there are only a few deputies on duty. Depending on what stopsticks they are using, would determine that also. The standard length is only about 8'. So you see deploying them all the way across the road would be difficult. not to mention how they operate would also make it difficult. Also, and don't quote me on this because I am not sure what CCSD policy is on stopsticks but in some departments they are required to leave an opening, mostly for police vehicles and innocent motorists caught up in the area to be evacuated.

Gingersnap13, yes she can be charge with spitting and throwing blood on the nurse, and probably already has. It probably just didn't get printed in the paper.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 7:26 AM

The Rider- Stop sticks come in three short sections that only cover a portion of one lane of traffic, there is really no way to cover four lanes of travel with one set of sticks. Due to economics, not all units are equipped with stop sticks; regardless it would have taken at least four sets of stop sticks to cover the entire roadway.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 8:03 AM

I guess you can't get a way with nudity in Brazil!! ....How many people did you put in danger to chase a alleged nude woman? ...All the drugs, violence, & theft associated with Brazil & trying restrain an alleged nudist is what you are spending our taxes dollars on is crazy.( The price of gas for patrols cars should be taken in consideration when picking who to chase.) She probably would not have ran if she hadn't of felt threatened. I am not saying she is right, but wouldn't a letter to report to the police station in a set time frame before a warrant was issued be a safer, cheaper alternative?

-- Posted by RebelRebel on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 10:52 AM

Sounds to me that she is up to no good and should receive the maximum sentence for her actions


-- Posted by NorthviewGirl on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:29 AM


Read the facts. She was a danger to many. I for one do not want her headed into town driving like that. I think there was more to it than nudity.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 12:31 PM

rebel did you NOT read cntrygirl's post or did you simply IGNORE it? She said this woman was causing disruption for 4 days prior to the nudity episode. Next time maybe read what someone with the knowledge wrote before dissing the police.

-- Posted by corgimom64@yahoo.com on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 1:11 PM

I know you're not supposed to judge others. But I can't help myself here. This may be a little too salty for some. Pure stupidity on her part. If she would have just answered a couple questions the officer may have issued a citation or just left even, who knows now. But instead she put the officer and several others lives at risk because she (A. Has no regard for others, B. Is crazy, C. Just plain ignorant), take your pick. No matter what the case is, she is probably in the best place she could be. If only we could run these idiots out, Brazil could be a much better place without people like this. Just my opinion.

-- Posted by JustinH on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 2:26 PM

I, for one, hope they "throw the book" at her! It sounds like she needs to be admitted to Hamilton Center. I'm no doctor, but this woman obviously has some severe mental issues. (that's just my opinion)

-- Posted by th1953 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 3:36 PM

Not completely sure about this, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to cover the WHOLE roadway with stop sticks?

Emergency traffic has to have a way to get thru at all times.

Once again, KUDOS to our law enforcement officers.

Also, I hope that the health of the three people this woman threw blood on remains good.

There are a lot of creepy diseases in the world that can be transmitted on contact.

-- Posted by Cy on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 9:30 PM

The following comments are my personal opinion and should not be construed as being the opinion or work product of any law enforcement or emergency service agency.

Rebel- if you read the same story that I did, you know that this pursuit was not started because of public nudity. The lady tried to kill Sgt. Best by twice attempting to run over him with her car when he was only there to interview her about an allegation of public nudity. Obviously you don't have much respect for law enforcement, which is your right, but the police are still citizens and can be victims of crime. So she was chased due to a felony crime that she had just committed, not nudity.

You made mention of all of the drugs, theft and violence going on in Brazil when you were putting down law enforcement. First of all, attempting to kill an officer is a violent act. Additionally, if you had an open mind you would realize that both the Sheriff's Department and the City Police have made numerous arrests for drugs and theft lately.

You also commented something along the lines of the police needing to consider the price of gas when they decide who to chase, hopefully you were not serious. There are a lot of serious things for an officer to take into consideration when they make a decision to pursue a vehicle, but gas prices aren't high on the list. If a person commit's a serious crime and/or is a danger to themselves or others I hope officers won't have to call the local gas station to check the current price for fuel before being allowed to do their duty.

Lastly, you made the statements: "She probably would not have ran if she hadn't of felt threatened." and " . but wouldn't a letter to report to the police station in a set time frame before a warrant was issued be a safer, cheaper alternative?" First of all, feeling threatened is not an excuse to break the law and put lives in jeopardy. Sgt. Best was out of his vehicle attempting to question the woman when she decided to get into her vehicle and attempt to run over him. She then, without being chased, drove wildly and recklessly fast onto the highway, it was only after all of these other events took place that the decision to engage in a pursuit was made. What in this scenario would ever make you think she would agree to travel to the police department willingly when she tried to kill a police officer who just tried to ask her some questions.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 9:57 PM

Lets face it to most people

For law enforcement Its Damn if they do and Damn if they dont

For you all dissing the law enforcement why dont u try becomming one and see how you handle a case. and lets see what the world is like then. "Well lets wait till later to arrest them. I can see it now we'll will live in a worse place than we do now

-- Posted by pepsilady on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 10:53 PM

Man the shallow minds at work here. I agree with a lot of the posters here. SHE was at FAULT! The police was doing their job correctly this is obvious!! All of you negative posters would be knocking the police if this happened next door to you!! GUARENTEED!!!

My guess is that this crazy, deranged woman was probably on meth! I mean what person in their right mind would do this??

Shame on all of you for negative posts!!! SHE PUT NURSES LIVES IN DANGER!! SHE PUT THE POLICE IN DANGER!! THESE PEOPLE CHOSE TO DO A JOB TO HELP US!!! If more crazies like this do this then who will want to do their jobs for fear of their lives?? We don't know if she has any transmittable dieses?? And THEY DON'T KNOW THAT EITHER!!! I commend all involved in this unnecessary event that tried to protect all of us and the offender herself!! YES, I said it.... no one else has.... The police was trying to protect the offender herself so were the nurses at the hospital. Isn't that crazy?? Try to help a sick person and what do they get?? Negative responses from their community!! Way to go Brazilians!!! You are my hero's!! I am not from Brazil, but I chose to live here almost 10 years now. And the gossip and judgmental people here truly are amazing here. I read all of these posts and usually don't say a word on here just laugh to myself at the ignorance on here. But this one is classic!! She was clearly in the wrong and we have people knocking the ones that are here to protect and serve. Well should we see you negative posters in future issues on the times for YOUR CRIMINAL ACTS?? I can't wait!!

-- Posted by chickenlady on Sat, Jun 7, 2008, at 9:01 AM

To all of the people defending that lunatic, I'm not sure I want to see them behind the wheel of a vehicle. They don't sound as if they have any more sense than she does. Bravo to the officer(s)> If they can't do their job then why do we have them. Think about it, would you have wanted to be on the road near her? I personally think she should be put away for a long time, she's a menace to the outside world.

-- Posted by fdale on Sat, Jun 7, 2008, at 6:49 PM


Sgt. Best is a well trained deputy who has been helping Clay County Citizens for several years. I am not sure why you feel he is on a powertrip, but since you weren't at the scene I don't think you should be calling Sgt. Best a liar.

I believe to many people the fact that they (police officers) serve the community and help citizens daily makes them heros.

Maybe instead of bad mouthing the police on here you should spend a day in their shoes first.

Thank you Sgt. Best for doing the job you do!

-- Posted by dmh15 on Sat, Jun 7, 2008, at 9:19 PM

UhOhNoNo- If you read the posts related to this story, you would realize that there was at least one witness to the attempts to run over Sgt. Best. You commented that you knew several officers who, in your opinion, exaggerate about people trying to run over them. That is total bologna, and if you "know several officers" it is only because you have been arrested several times.

You also commented "Ah well, I guess thats what you get when you have police in a small town. I suppose this guy is going to be a "Hero" in another day or two." Are you suggesting that we shouldn't have police in a small town? That's ridiculous. As far as being a hero, that is not why any officer takes a job in law enforcement. Cowardly people like you want to try to tear down anything heroic that a police officer or anybody else ever does because it makes you feel inferior because you are too much of a coward to ever do anything remotely brave (sitting behind a computer typing insults does not count).

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Sun, Jun 8, 2008, at 11:23 PM

Here is another example of why an officer should stop a pursuit when the conditions are unsafe. Look at Officer Hill who completely disregarded icy road conditions continued a pursuit, and they are fighting to get additional paid leave for him. I have a problem with these officers that don't use good common sense and don't put their training to good use.

-- Posted by keeping it real on Tue, Jun 10, 2008, at 7:57 PM

I know Sgt. Dan Best pretty well, I have worked several scenes with him as a Firefighter/EMT and would trust his judgement at any given time. Try putting yourself in their shoes, can you think on your feet, make just decesions, keep the safety of others in mind and put your decesions into action in the amount of time it took you to read this post? Well good luck, and remember, there will be people ready to judge your actions when you are done too.

Thanks Sgt Best, Job well done.

-- Posted by Firedad on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 12:42 PM

REgarding the Stop Sticks.

Some newer models are designed to be collapsable so you can pull them off of the road in a hurry. Even so these are only 8-10 feet in length. any longer and you would have a hard time pulling them away.

Regardless you need to have a path for pursuit vehicles to continue the pursuit after they hit the stop sticks. They will eventually stop the car but it doesnt cause a car to immediately stop. I remember a pursuit a couple years ago where a car hit some stop sticks then continued to run down I-70 with 4 flat tires for about 15 miles before it finally stopped.

It shouldn't need to be said but most people who run from the police are ither deperate or nuts. Problably both. They don't stop just because they have a shiney new flat tire. All that does is makes the vehicle hard to control.

-- Posted by Inquizitor on Sun, Jun 15, 2008, at 3:16 PM

Uh keeping it real? What unsafe condition are you talking about? traveling 100 miles per hour or spike strips in the road?

Police officers are trained to pursue. They are NOT trained to just shrug and say 'Oh darn' Just because a criminal starts exceeding a safe speed. As I recall Officer Hill wasn't even injured in a pursuit. He was injured when one of our local dregs decided he wanted to run while Hill was partially in the car.

Officer Hill is problably one of the more dedicated members of the Brazil Police department. I also know he cares alot about the people of this city includeing the people he has to take in.

There is no denying that a pursiut can be exilirating for a police officer. That isn't why they do it though. If everyone would yeild when they see the flashing red and blue there would be no high speed pursuits, safe conditions or otherwise. Let's think about it. If the police officer is having to move at an unsafe speed to follow someone; Doesn't the car they are following also have to be doing it?

Just keeping it real man.

-- Posted by Inquizitor on Sun, Jun 15, 2008, at 3:26 PM

whats sad is she was an army jrotc teacher.she is very religious.i don't know what happened to her she resign. i think the war got to her. she was in operation dessert storm. she was a 1 sergant. also those police in brazil are messed up they plant stuff on people and every thing

-- Posted by girl on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 4:43 PM

I am Karen's mother and please respect my comments. Karen was made to retire after 20 years in the military because of her "problems". I am not saying the military caused all her problems but that they did nothing to help her. Karen served as an honorable drill sergent (twice) against my wishes and because of the "privacy act" our family was unable to help her and repeatedly are still trying. It is of great concern we were not notified, either by the police or hospital. Please, let's not judge her, let's try to change the law to get help for these troubled individuals. I only wish you knew her in her good times because there were many.

-- Posted by tippi on Tue, Jun 17, 2008, at 11:21 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: