Driver flees Perry PD, preferring arrest by county deputies

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Sherilyn Kay Dunlap of Perry was arrested Sunday morning on charges of first-offense OWI, interference with official acts and eluding.

A Perry woman was arrested about 2:30 Sunday morning after she fled in her vehicle from a Perry Police officer and then led the officer and three Dallas County deputy sheriffs on a short chase that ended a mile south of Washington Township School.

In the end, Sherilyn Kay Dunlap, 37, of 1812 Jones St. in Perry, was arrested on charges of first-offense OWI, interference with official acts and eluding. She was first observed by Perry Police Officer Lourdes Clay sleeping in her vehicle at the Kum & Go at 1115 Iowa Highway 141 in Perry.

“Initially, our officer saw her passed out behind the wheel by the gas pumps,” said Perry Police Sgt. Jim Archer. “Our officer then made contact with the clerk, and sometime in that time period the female ended up getting out of her car. After our officer made contact with her, she was told not to get back in the car, but she jumped back in the car and refused to get out.”

The incident began at the gas pumps at Kum & Go south.
The incident began at the gas pumps at Kum & Go south.

Archer said Dunlap then left the parking lot and drove southward from Perry on County Road P58.

“While our officer was pursuing her,” Archer said, “Ms. Dunlap ended up calling 911, which initially came to the police department. Not knowing that the two were related — because all she requested was to speak with the Dallas County Sheriff’s office — the call was immediately transferred to Dallas County. And then she got on the phone and was saying she wasn’t going to pull over unless she was stopped by a sheriff’s department vehicle.”

Three Dallas County deputy sheriffs assisted in the arrest.
Three Dallas County deputy sheriffs assisted in the arrest.

Dunlap was soon obliged by three deputy sheriffs, who assisted Officer Clay in arresting her when she finally stopped at 220th Street.

“It was not a high-speed pursuit,” Archer said. “You’re talking probably a six- or seven-minute pursuit. The fastest speed they were going was 60 miles an hour.”

The cause of Dunlap’s refusal to stop for Officer Clay was unclear.

“Apparently, she felt she was being harassed by the Perry officer,” he said. “That’s my understanding.”

A boxer was taken into custody.
A boxer was taken into custody.

Dunlap was not alone in her vehicle. She had a boxer dog with her, who was taken into custody and transported to the Perry dog pound. Archer said this procedure is standard when people are arrested with animals in their company.

“When we take somebody into custody like that, if there’s an animal in the vehicle, we obviously have to do something with it and take care of it,” he said. “That’s why it was taken to the pound, to be held until she was released, and then we can release it back to her. And usually that’s a quicker option than calling somebody to come to the scene to pick up a dog. Then you’re tying up another officer. And that’s if you can even get a hold of somebody. This would have been at 2:30 in the morning. So the quickest option is just to do that.”

The Humane Society of Perry was notified of the new occupant of the pound, and Dunlap was transported to the Dallas County jail after booking at the Perry Police Department.

Perry Police stock photo

15 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! Good for her. That took courage to disobey a Perry officer. Haven’t heard of the particular officer, though it was possible he could have potentially hurt her. Can’t blame her for not wanting to be harassed by Perry cops, especially this late at night when she probably may have thought she was in a safe spot in the public. And then leaving and calling in to assure her own safety if she was to stop was brilliant. I remember when I was only 17 and only a passenger that the driver of the vehicle eluded cops, and he stopped on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere. We were told we were lucky they didn’t shoot us. This particular incident happened 22 years ago, but still to this day Perry Police officers have been known to harass their people, especially this late at night. And I know Sherilynn enough to know that she must not have been comfortable, because she has been nothing but sweet and innocent as far as I have ever known. Maybe she’s been harassed before. I don’t know, but it is something that does happen often in Perry, and it shouldn’t ever be acceptable.

    • Hey, genius, Officer Clay is female. Also, not sure what you’re implying by saying “he could have potentially hurt her,” but if her concern was truly about her safety, why would she leave a lighted parking lot IN TOWN to drive out into the county in the dark?
      I know that the accused has already made statements on Facebook, but it will be interesting to see if her story lines up with the body cam footage as well as that of the police cruiser camera and the cameras of the three Dallas County cars.
      Perhaps she should just own up to the fact that she was in the wrong and accept the consequences of her actions.

      • To “Tired of Excuses” — You are a coward. Why don’t you post your name? I did nothing wrong. I was harassed plain and simple. I was assaulted by her for no reason.

    • Sweet and innocent she is NOT. She was merged out when she approached me at my kids’ baseball practice where she was the coach. She wanted to literally fight me because I asked another kid not to swing the bat in front of a player’s face.

  2. Whatever issues there may or may not be with the Perry Police, be reminded they are better than most. I personally trust the Perry PD a lot more than the average metropolitan or urban police force. As an old hippie, I find the attitudes of many cops abominable, but I try not to be judgmental or take things personally. I understand how one’s level of functioning and civility tends to be no higher than those one encounters daily. Though I may differ with them on matters of policy and procedure, I acknowledge their authority until or unless they transgress concerning Constitutional rights and such. All that being said, if a cop tells you to stop, you’d better. If the cop abuses his or her authority, that can be dealt with more safely later. It brings to mind memories of my childhood. If I ran from being spanked, I’d wind up getting spanked harder.

    • I apologize for my comment, “opinion,” and sorry to Sherilynn, whom I never even spoken with. You shouldn’t blame her for my words either. I just couldn’t believe it when I saw her on the front page of ThePerryNews.com. It is to me a shocker, and I don’t understand it. Based on my own experiences, I have to think there’s more to it, but Thou shall not judge, neither shall They, but They will, not me. I just know it should have been left alone, and I don’t know.

  3. I fail to understand how the police were “harassing” her while she was passed out at the gas pump, apparently to get gas in order to drive more. Probably not a good idea! The LEOs did their job well.

  4. To the dumb comment: I wasn’t passed out at the pump. I was on the phone when I pulled in to get gas, and I was counting change. I wasn’t passed out either.

  5. Sherilyn – if you were not passed out and truly on the phone, then why get so upset with a female officer making sure you were okay? Obviously, you jumped to a conclusion in this situation and assumed the officer was harassing you when she was obviously making sure 1. that you were OK and 2. that the safety of anyone on the road or in your path was okay. If you were not under the influence and being a law-abiding citizen, there would no reason to cause a chase at 2:30 a.m. and then tie up other resources.

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