TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka man is in custody after an injury accident that left a woman in critical condition.

On Sunday, May 1, around 10:30 p.m., Topeka police officers tried to stop a motorcycle in the 3500 block of SW 29th Terrace, according to a release. The motorcycle took off at a high rate of speed and officers did not pursue the motorcycle.

Hours later on May 2, at 1:55 a.m., officers with the Topeka Police Department spotted the motorcycle again, which had a passenger on board this time. They attempted to stop the bike near 17th and SW Western but the driver took off again, police said. According to LT. Manuel Munoz, officers did not chase the motorcycle.

According to Munoz, 10 minutes later officers in the area of SW 16th Street and SW College found the motorcycle, which appeared to have just been in a crash. A female rider on the motorcycle was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. She remains in a Topeka hospital one week later in critical condition, according to the release.

On Monday, May 9, the Topeka Police Department arrested the operator of the bike at 3513 SW 29th Street. Austen T. Burris, 31, of Topeka was booked into Shawnee County Department of Corrections on the following charges:

  • Aggravated battery
  • Failed to stop at an accident; resulting in great bodily injury
  • Felony elude
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving with suspended a driver’s license

According to authorities, an investigation is still active.

In April of 2021, Burris was taken into custody and booked into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections after fire investigators accused him of causing $1,000 in structural damage around 8:30 a.m. to a home at 229 SW Western Ave.

Sentencing for that fire is scheduled for May 17, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. Burris entered a guilty plea on Feb. 25, 2022 for arson.