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Press Release

Belton Man Charged with Illegal Firearms After Police Pursuit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Belton, Missouri, man who caused an accident while fleeing from a police helicopter, then ran from police officers through the backyards of a residential neighborhood before being apprehended, was charged in federal court today with illegally possessing firearms.

Jonathon M. Pentlin, 24, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of firearms in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Pentlin remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s federal criminal complaint, a police helicopter was following the stolen 2015 Ford Focus, which Pentlin was driving, from Belton to a Phillips 66 gas station at 5151 E. Red Bridge Road in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Pentlin and another person as part of an ongoing investigation into a residential burglary in which multiple firearms were stolen. The passenger got out of the Focus and into another vehicle at the gas station. Pentlin continued driving the stolen Focus westbound on Red Bridge Road.

As the helicopter followed the Focus, the affidavit says, Pentlin began driving at a high speed. The Focus was involved in an accident in the area of 107th Terrace and Grandview Road in Kansas City, Mo. Pentlin got out of the vehicle and ran westbound through backyards. A Kansas City police sergeant who got out of his vehicle in an attempt to apprehend Pentlin saw that Pentlin was armed with a handgun as he was running through the backyards.

Additional officers arrived and located Pentlin in the backyard of a residence on E. 107th Terrace. Officers ordered Pentlin to get on the ground, the affidavit says, but he refused to follow their commands and continued to act erratically. Pentlin balled up his fists and assumed a fighting posture while stating, “I’m going to kill you all.”

A Kansas City police officer shot Pentlin with a taser and he fell on his back. While on the ground, Pentlin continued to resist arrest and tried to kick officers. While taking Pentlin into custody, he bit an officer on the right thigh, which caused an open wound with bruising and swelling. While officers waited for EMS to arrive, the affidavit says, Pentlin continuously slammed his head into the grass and attempted to bite several officers’ hands and fingers. Pentlin was transported to a local hospital by EMS.

An ATF agent with a police dog searched the area and found two firearms, a loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a loaded Beretta 9mm semi-automatic handgun, under the deck of a residence. Officers also found two plastic baggies that contained approximately 4.03 grams of methamphetamine, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia in the stolen Focus Pentlin was driving.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Pentlin has prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle and for possessing and distributing illegal drugs.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Black. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

Updated February 24, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods