Early in the morning on December 31, Sheriff Jason Mackie, while at the Pilot Travel Center, began to observe suspicious activity. Sheriff Mackie began to follow a vehicle Northbound on Interstate 77 to continue to investigate. A check of the vehicle registration revealed that it was reported stolen out of South Carolina.
After confirming the vehicle status, Sheriff Mackie continued to follow at a distance and called for a response by available deputies. As the suspect began to approach the Guernsey/Noble County line, Guernsey County deputies were also notified. While following, and prior to attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the suspect vehicle reached speeds in excess of 90 mph. After the Sheriff activated his lights and sirens in Northern Noble County, the vehicle continued to climb in speed and began driving erratically.
As the pursuit approached the Buffalo exit, Sergeant Oakley of the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office set up spike strips in an attempt to disable the vehicle. Despite making contact with the spike strip and deflating a tire, the suspect vehicle continued to accelerate, reaching speeds in excess of 110 mph. After losing one of the tires, the vehicle continued to travel at speeds above 80 mph on the tire rim. Efforts to bring the vehicle to a stop resulted in continued swerving at law enforcement vehicles and other motorists on the roadway, including a semi-truck.
Due to the life-threatening nature of the pursuit, Sheriff Mackie and Sergeant Tim Simon of the Noble County Sheriff’s Office surrounded the vehicle and executed a rolling roadblock in an attempt to slow the vehicle down. After getting into position, Sergeant Simon’s cruiser was rammed by the suspect vehicle. After contact with Sergeant Simon’s cruiser, a swerve by the suspect at Sheriff Mackie’s cruiser missed before he collided again with Sergeant Simon. The subsequent collision resulted in the suspect vehicle spinning out of control, overturning once and ultimately coming to rest on the shoulder of the interstate.
After the vehicle was disabled, the suspect fled on foot for several hundred feet before ultimately being apprehended by Sheriff Mackie and the responding Deputies from both Counties. Upon a search of the motor vehicle, a loaded .45 caliber pistol and 26 round extended magazine were recovered.
United Ambulance was called to the scene to evaluate the suspect before transporting him to Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries sustained in the crash. The suspect refused to provide identification. After receiving treatment and being medically cleared, the suspect was ultimately arrested and transported to the Noble County Jail where he is being held on pending felony charges.
“Due to the cooperation and quick response by both Noble County and Guernsey County Sheriff’s Offices, a potentially lethal situation was able to be contained without further danger to the public” stated Sheriff Mackie.