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Wife has 'mental disorder'

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:53 PM

The Willard woman accused of being intoxicated and hitting the same police cruiser twice during a high-speed pursuit Tuesday "has a mental disorder," her husband said.

Authorities had Arlena M. Hicks, 38, of 1837 S. Thomas Road, transferred from the Huron County Jail to the Northcoast Behavioral Center in Toledo "due to potential mental issues" Thursday afternoon, Sgt. Christopher Stanfield said.

Corrections officers became concerned about Hicks and had a counselor with Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services meet with her, the jail supervisor said. "That's normal protocol."

Authorities involved in the pursuit have said it appeared Hicks was under the influence of drugs during the chase that began near a Cleveland Road business. She is accused of driving as fast as 80 mph.

The pursuit ended on Ohio 303 near Wakeman, about two miles west of the Lorain County line.

Hicks didn't respond when officers asked her to acknowledge she was refusing a drug test, but did provide her name, Huron County Sheriff's Major Greg Englund said.

Before the pursuit, a motorist called 9-1-1 and accused Hicks of hitting several vehicles while driving a green Ford Explorer on Ohio 61. Englund said deputies took control of the pursuit after Hicks reportedly fled from a Norwalk officer.

"She was a danger to the public and (we) had to get (her) off the road," Englund said.

Floyd Hicks said his wife has depressed memory from reportedly being abused as a child and "wasn't in her right state of mind."

"It just came out of a depressed memory," said Floyd Hicks, who declined to be more specific. "She had no drugs whatsoever in her system."

Floyd Hicks said a Norwalk officer performed a drug test Wednesday night on his wife at the jail and the test was negative.

Englund said a jail supervisor told him that a Norwalk officer never administered a drug test.

Floyd Hicks said his wife has been under a doctor's care for "a little while now," but declined to give a specific time frame.

"She's a good person. She just lost her mind," he said.

"She's in a mental state. She doesn't take drugs or alcohol," Floyd added, saying his wife needs help and compassion.

Wakeman Police Chief Tim Hunker, who joined the end of the pursuit, said he thought officers could have been injured because Arlena Hicks started moving her vehicle after stopping, when police had their weapons drawn.

Hicks is accused of failing to listen to officers' orders, so she was forced out of her vehicle and into handcuffs, Englund said earlier.

Deputies charged Hicks with two counts of vehicular assault and one count each of driving under the influence and failing to comply with the order of a police officer.

Lt. Jim Bryan of the state Highway Patrol said the sheriff's office is in control of the investigation. He said troopers have turned reports over to the Norwalk Law Director's office for the consideration of charges in connection with the collisions.

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