Police say a 19-year-old driver left behind a trail of busted traffic signs and mailboxes before he was arrested.
Michael M. Anderson, Bear Creek, is charged with felony fleeing an officer and obstructing an officer. He has also been cited for disorderly conduct with a vehicle and failure to keep a vehicle under control.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, Clintonville Police Officer Matthew Wright was on patrol when dispatch advised him of a reckless driver who had knocked down a stop sign at East Madison and Maize streets.
Wright was at Memorial Circle and Main Street when he heard squealing tires and saw a white truck traveling east on Seventh Street. He pulled behind the truck and activated his emergency lights.
Wright reported that the truck failed to stop and was spraying a shower of sparks from the back of the driver’s side. Its rear tire was missing and the vehicle was riding on its frame.
The truck then turned onto Auto Street into the wrong traffic lane and began swerving side to side and barely maintaining control, according to the criminal complaint.
As the truck turned east onto East Madison Street, Wright shined his spotlight into the vehicle to get the driver’s attention, but he continued driving.
The truck later jumped the curb as it turned onto Second Street. It then turned south onto East Morning Glory Drive.
As the truck turned east onto Flora Way, the driver lost control, hit a curb, spun around into a driveway, then struck a newspaper box and a shrub, the complaint says.
Wright exited his squad car, drew his weapon and ordered the driver to show his hands.
The driver, later identified as Anderson, tried unsuccessfully to back out of the yard, then jumped out of the car and ran away, police say.
Wright holstered his gun and ran after Anderson, caught up with him and escorted him to the ground.
According to the criminal complaint, Anderson failed to put his hands behind his back so Wright could handcuff him. He complied after Sgt. Chris Wendorf arrived with his K-9 unit, Chero.
A preliminary breath test indicated Anderson had 0.16 blood-alcohol content.
Wendorf reported finding damaged traffic signs and mailbox posts at six locations that he was able to trace back to Anderson’s truck, based upon tire tracks and burn outs.
Investigators suspect the damage was intentional since Anderson apparently hit the items head-on with his truck.
Wendorf also found the truck’s brake shoes in the middle of the road and a trail of brake fluid and scrape marks.