Public Safety

Officials: Fayette County man fleeing with kidnapped woman tried to run over deputies Held on $5M bail, he faces kidnapping and attempted murder charges

Stop sticks caused this pickup truck to lose control Friday near the intersection of W-45 and Kornhill Road and roll int
Stop sticks caused this pickup truck to lose control Friday near the intersection of W-45 and Kornhill Road and roll into a ditch. Maxwell Liebe, 20, now faces several felony counts. The former girlfriend he kidnapped, authorities said, is safe. (Fayette County Sheriff’s Office photo)
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A Fayette County man tied up his former girlfriend and led authorities on a high-speed chase, trying to run over deputies and ramming a squad car before police “stop sticks” punctured a tire and forced him into a ditch, according to officials and court records.

Maxwell Liebe, 20, faces several felony counts including attempted murder and was being held on $5 million bail at the Fayette County Jail.

The woman was found after the chase in the wrecked pickup truck, bound with plastic zip ties but otherwise safe, officials said.

It began Friday when the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home in Wadena on a missing persons report. There, deputies said they found evidence of a struggle and possible kidnapping.

According to Fayette County criminal complaints, Liebe broke into his former girlfriend’s apartment Friday while she was away. When she returned, he refused for hours to let her leave.

Liebe eventually knocked her unconscious and bound her with zip ties. Authorities said he used her vehicle to drive the two of them to a secluded area where his pickup truck was parked, and placed her in it.

According to a Facebook post on the Fayette County sheriff’s page, the sheriff’s office issued an all-points bulletin for Liebe and his truck. Officials also requested data showing locations for both Liebe’s and his victim’s cellphones.

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About 1 p.m. Friday, authorities said they received a locating ping placing the suspect’s phone at the Buchanan-Fayette county line.

A Buchanan County deputy located Liebe’s truck, which fled, according to records.

A police chase ensued. As many as eight patrol vehicles pursued the suspect’s truck for several miles “at speeds over 80 miles per hour.

According to the sheriff’s Facebook post, Liebe attempted to run over two deputies throwing stop sticks on the road. Liebe also rammed into a patrol car, causing the deputy to crash “at a high rate of speed,” according to a criminal complaint.

The suspect’s truck got a flat tire from the stop sticks. At the intersection of County Road W-45 and Kornhill Road, Liebe lost control and rolled the truck into a ditch, according to the Facebook post.

The kidnapping victim was found inside the truck. She was taken to a hospital to be checked for injuries.

Liebe was charged with three counts of attempted murder and kidnapping in the first degree. He also faces charges of burglary in the first degree; possession and control of a firearm as a felon; and eluding a pursuing law enforcement vehicle.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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