Crime Brief

Genoa woman charged with felony fleeing at 98 mph in western Kane County

Kane deputy stopped pursuit, arrested driver later in Sycamore

Harnita C. Harris was charged with felony aggravated fleeing to elude a police officer and misdemeanor reckless driving and not having a valid license.

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A Genoa woman was charged with felony aggravated fleeing to elude a police officer at 98 miles an hour, according to Kane County Sheriff’s Reports.

Harnita C. Harris, 41, of the 12000 block of Ellen Drive, Genoa, was also charged Jan. 5 with reckless driving and not having a valid license, according to court records and sheriff’s reports.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, deputies noticed a 1997 gray Lexus with one headlight out by the Elgin Community College Center for Emergency Services, 815 E. Plank Road, Burlington, the report stated.

The deputy followed with emergency lights activated, but the Lexus continued at slow speeds on Plank Road, turned north on Burlington Road, and stopped at Burlington and French Road, the report stated.

As the deputy came out of his vehicle, the driver, later identified as Harris, fled at a high rate of speed; as she passed, the deputy noticed that she was wearing a yellow jacket and a black and white beanie hat with a ball on top, the report stated.

While in pursuit, the deputy saw that he was gaining on the Lexus and “observed that my speed was 98 mph in a 55 mph zone, indicating that the Lexus was driving at least” that fast, the report stated.

While fleeing, Harris would hit snowdrifts more than once, causing the Lexus to fishtail while other cars were in the area, the report stated.

After several miles in pursuit above 90 miles an hour, a sergeant in charge terminated the pursuit, but the deputy had the Lexus’s registered owner’s phone number, the report stated.

The car’s owner stated his foster daughter has been using the car for the past month and that she should be at work in Sycamore, the report stated.

He called Harris at work and she denied being in that area or involved in a pursuit, the report stated.

Deputies went to Harris’s job and observed her wearing the same hat and jacket the Lexus driver had been wearing, the report stated.

“Harnita … advised that she was just scared which is why she fled,” the report stated. “She said at one point, she observed her speedometer at 80 mph. I asked her if she was scared and she said she was praying that no accidents happened.”

The registered owner was an innocent owner, which is why deputies did not take steps to seize the Lexus, the report stated.

Harris was released on a personal recognizance bond with instructions not to drive without a valid license.

The most serious charge she faces, aggravated fleeing a police officer, is a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000, if convicted.

Harris’s public defender did not return a voicemail message seeking comment.