Two Montgomery County men were arrested late Sunday evening after leading law enforcement on a car chase that began in Washington C.H. and ended in the village of Leesburg.
At 11:11 p.m. Sunday, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Adam Rummer made a traffic stop on Temple Street near North Main Street in Washington C.H. after observing traffic violations, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
The driver of the 2007 Lincoln MK4 was identified as Richard C. Armstrong, 32, of Dayton.
During the traffic stop, a clear plastic baggie was observed in the passenger door of the vehicle, according to Rummer. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Jerry L. Walther, 57, of Dayton. Rummer said that while attempting to retrieve the baggie, Armstrong put the vehicle into drive and fled at a high rate of speed with Rummer and other sheriff’s deputies giving chase on Eyman Park Drive toward the Lakeview Avenue area near Washington C.H.
During the chase, Rummer said he saw items discarded from the vehicle. The pursuit continued to the center of Washington C.H. and went west on Court Street then onto Leesburg Avenue before turning onto the U.S. 35 West access road.
The Washington C.H. Police Department assisted during the chase until the suspect vehicle departed the city limits. The vehicle continued to U.S. 22 West and went westbound before abruptly turning to an eastbound direction, said Stanforth. This caused the suspect vehicle and a sheriff’s cruiser to run into each other, causing minor damage to both vehicles.
However, the pursuit continued with the suspect vehicle crossing the U.S. 35 East access road before turning south on U.S. Route 62 toward the village of Staunton. The chase continued south on U.S. 62 and entered Highland County, where members of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, the Leesburg Police Department, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were set up with “stop sticks,” according to Stanforth.
The stop sticks caused the vehicle to come to a stop at the intersection of SR 28 and U.S. 62 in Leesburg, where Armstrong and Walther were both taken into custody.
Deputy Jason Havens and K-9 “Dexi” responded to the area where items were discarded from the vehicle. Stanforth said they located a substance “presumptively identified as cocaine.”
During inventory of the vehicle, additional substances “presumptively identified as cocaine, heroin and clonazepam tablets were recovered,” Stanforth said. The vehicle, registered to Walther, was impounded by the sheriff’s office.
Walther was charged with fifth-degree felony drug abuse, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor drug abuse.
Armstrong was charged with third-degree felony failure to comply with the signal/order of the police officer, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, fifth-degree felony drug abuse , misdemeanor drug abuse, and driving under suspension.
Both were taken to the Fayette County Jail where they were incarcerated in lieu of bond.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.