Growing pot in a city park was not OK, Kansas cops say, and neither was the boat chase

Scott Joseph Skibo
Scott Joseph Skibo

Police in southeast Kansas chased down a suspected marijuana farmer Monday after he tried to outrun them in a boat on the Neosho River.

The man, a paroled bank robber from Michigan, was allegedly growing marijuana in a park in the city of Chetopa, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

About 50 plants were growing on an island in the river, officials said.

On Monday afternoon, KBI agents, Chetopa police officers and deputies with the Labette County Sheriff’s Office were approaching the grow site when the man spotted them, officials said.

He attempted to get away in a flat-bottom boat with an outboard motor, but the police also had a boat and caught up with him a few hundred yards down the river.

The man, identified as 54-year-old Scott Joseph Skibo, of Chetopa, was booked into the Labette County jail on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court records, he has previous federal court convictions in Michigan for drug-related offenses and bank robbery. He was released from prison in October 2014, according to U.S. Bureau of Prisons records.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc