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Willard woman indicted in high-speed chase

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM

A Willard woman has been indicted in connection with an April 24 high-speed chase in which she hit the same police cruiser twice.

Arlena M. Hicks, 38, of 1837 S. Thomas Road, is accused of using a green Ford Explorer as a deadly weapon, resulting in a charge of felonious assault, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. She also faces two counts of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.

"I don't think you can play bumper cars at 55 mph," Leffler said.

The pursuit, which reached speeds as fast as 80 mph, began near a Cleveland Road business and ended on Ohio 303 near Wakeman, about two miles west of the Lorain County line.

Before the pursuit, a motorist called 9-1-1 and accused Hicks of hitting several vehicles on Ohio 61. Authorities said one of the drivers who was hit north of Peru Hollow Road spun out and went into a ditch.

During one collision, Hicks hit the rear of the minivan of Willard motorist Grace M. Reed, 49, and fled the scene heading north on Ohio 61, state troopers said.

Deputies took control of the pursuit after Hicks fled from a Norwalk officer.

At one point, Huron County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Martz attempted to pass Hicks because she wouldn't stop, Major Greg Englund said, and her sport utility vehicle sideswiped the deputy's cruiser. After Martz managed to get in front of the SUV to box her in, Hicks rammed the back of Martz's car.

Englund earlier called Hicks "a danger to the public" and was someone whom authorities needed to get off the road. When the pursuit ended, officers had their weapons drawn and Hicks reportedly didn't listen to officers' orders, so she was forced out of her vehicle and into handcuffs, police said.

Wakeman Police Chief Tim Hunker, who joined the pursuit on Ohio 303 near U.S. 20, has said officers could have been injured because Hicks started moving her vehicle after stopping.

Floyd Hicks has said his wife was acting out of a depressed memory involving alleged child abuse and "wasn't in her right state of mind." He also said his wife has a mental disorder and has been under a doctor's care.

Arlena Hicks has been in custody at the Huron County Jail since the April 24 incident.

On April 25, corrections officers had her transferred to the Northcoast Behavioral Center in Toledo due to potential mental issues after she met with a mental health counselor. Jail Supervisor Sgt. David Soldano declined to say how long Hicks was at Northcoast because of federal medical-related privacy regulations.

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