A Tuscarawas County driver was arrested after a nearly 30-mile mile pursuit that started in Willard and involved multiple law enforcement agencies Tuesday.
Christian A. Smart, 19, of Dover, was charged with fleeing and eluding, operating a vehicle after underage consumption, underage consumption, driving with a suspended license, making an improper turn and a seatbelt violation. If convicted of fleeing and eluding, he faces nine months to three years in prison.
"Once he got stopped, they said he was polite, apologetic and cooperative," Willard Police Chief Mark Holden said.
When Smart entered Bellevue, a city officer took over the pursuit.
"The driver ended up turning into a residential area and ultimately onto a dead-end street. The vehicle struck the Bellevue cruiser before finally stopping," Holden said.
"I believe there were some beer cans in the car -- some open ones. There was a breath test involved too," Holden added.
Troopers with the Norwalk post of the state Highway Patrol performed a breath test on Smart and handled the crash in Bellevue. Sgt. Brian Mamere said the suspect's blood alcohol content level tested at .023 percent, which he said is "just over" the legal limit of .02 percent for anybody under the age of 21.
At 11:44 p.m. Monday, Willard Police Sgt. Steve Weiss spotted a vehicle exiting the Tiffin Street underpass going between about 70 and 75 mph.
"As (Weiss) began to turn onto the roadway, he observed the vehicle (going) airborne through the intersection of Tiffin Street and Conwell Avenue as it ran the red light at the intersection," Holden said.
The officer activated the cruiser's lights and sirens. Police said Smart went eastbound on Ohio 103, turned north onto Ohio 61, continued northbound through Norwalk and turned west onto U.S. 20.
The vehicle went through Monroeville and continued westbound into Bellevue.
At 11:45 p.m., Willard police requested assistance from the Huron County Sheriff's Office. Two deputies responded, but further information about their involvement wasn't available.
After stopping in Bellevue, Smart was transported to the Huron County Jail.