Custer grad helps apprehend suspected killer
Mary Gales Askren
Published: Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
A child was involved.
The suspect was to be considered armed and dangerous.
That’s what 2006 Custer graduate and Jackson County deupty Tim Nutley knew when he left his home in Kadoka on Sunday, June 5, in response to a call for assistance from his supervisor, Jackson County Sheriff Ray Clements, Jr.
“I knew I needed to be aware of my surroundings and my actions,” Nutley said in a phone interview shortly after the incident.
Later he would learn that 39-year-old Thomas Petersen of Greene, Iowa, was suspected of killing his wife, Judy Petersen. Before that, he would witness behavior that indicated Petersen was willing to injure – and perhaps kill – in an effort to get away.
However, when Clements, who served as a Custer County sheriff’s deputy from 1994-2000, called for assistance, none of this was known. The Rapid City Journal reported Clements encountered Petersen’s vehicle, a 2006 red Ford F-150, on S.D. Highway 73 near the Haakon and Jackson county line around 7 a.m. Prior to that, a Badlands National Park Ranger had contacted authorities in response to an Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old Jacob Petersen after spotting the vehicle.
Nutley said he showed up on the scene about the time Petersen was repeatedly ramming the sheriff’s vehicle, which rolled as a result.
“It was at that point that he stopped and let the child out,” Nutley said.
He, along with the park ranger, continued to pursue Petersen’s vehicle while another deputy stopped to check on the child who was subsequently left with Clements. Nutley said Petersen ran head-on into the Haakon County sheriff’s vehicle, disabling them both, and then climbed out of his truck.
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