Vehicle rams fire department door


WASHINGTON C.H. — A 58-year-old Hamilton man was arrested early Monday morning after he allegedly rammed the vehicle he was driving into one of the large garage doors at the front of the Washington Fire Department.

At around 2:38 a.m. Monday, Washington Police Department Officer Kevin Shoopman was driving his marked cruiser eastbound on Market Street when he saw a vehicle coming toward him at a high rate of speed. According to reports, the vehicle continued through the North, Fayette and Main street intersections and then made a u-turn somewhere around Hinde Street.

“By this time, I had turned around and was near the Fayette Street intersection,” Shoopman wrote in his report. “The vehicle then approached the Fayette Street light and stopped. I began to turn right so I could turn around to get behind the vehicle. The driver then yelled something and continued through the intersection.”

At this point, the vehicle pulled to the front of the Washington Fire Department, 215 E. Market St., and reportedly rammed one of the garage doors. Police said the vehicle then backed up, went around Shoopman’s cruiser, and traveled southbound on Fayette Street. The vehicle then stopped near the Court Street intersection where it was blocked in by Shoopman’s cruiser and a Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s vehicle.

The driver — identified as Michael Hignite — was ordered out of the vehicle. According to reports, Hignite was sweating profusely, and advised he was being followed by a “large organization” and was in fear of “being shot.” He also allegedly told authorities that he had been shot at in Columbus and he ran his vehicle into the fire department to “sound an alarm to get more officers.”

Police said Hignite didn’t know which town or county he was in. He reportedly admitted to using methamphetamines and was placed under arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was also charged with driving under suspension and vandalism.

Hignite is being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $4,000 bond.

According to reports, the door at the fire department suffered extensive damage.

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