Middletown man faces more felony charges after short police chase

A Middletown man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing this afternoon in Franklin Municipal Court for charges resulting from a short pursuit and foot search on Nov. 16 after he had been released from jail on other felony charges.

Johnny Marchesani, 34, is facing charges of fleeing, a third-degree felony, and obstructing official business and receiving stolen property, both fifth-degree felonies. Marchesani is accused of driving a stolen vehicle while fleeing from police.

In addition to today’s preliminary hearing on the felony charges from that incident, Marchesani also has a pre-trial conference on misdemeanor charges of OVI and driving under suspension/child support for a previous incident. On Nov. 5, Marchesani was bound over to a Warren County grand jury on felony charges of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. He had been released from jail prior to the Nov. 16 incident.

About 9:30 p.m. Nov. 16, a Franklin police officer checked the registration of a vehicle traveling northbound on Riley Boulevard in the area of East Second Street and found that the vehicle had been reported stolen. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle as it fled northbound onto North Main Street.

Police said the slow speed pursuit continued onto North Dixie Highway when the suspect’s vehicle was forced to stop due to mechanical issues.

Marchesani allegedly fled westbound on foot into an adjacent field. Police were assisted by units from seven neighboring departments as well as four separate K-9 units and the Franklin Division of Fire.

Police said the K-9 teams tracked Marchesani southbound along the Great Miami River Bike Trail. About 11:28 p.m., a passer-by told police searching the perimeter about seeing a person in the wood line near the 1000-block of North Main Street. Police checked the location and found Marchesani hiding in a culvert near that address.

Marchesani was arraigned on the charges last week and is being held under a $25,000 bond in the Warren County Jail.

Franklin police were assisted by units from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Carlisle police, Miami Twp. police, Miamisburg police, Middletown police.

“I’m very proud of how our officers were able to coordinate a successful mission utilizing law enforcement from three different counties (Warren, Montgomery, and Butler),” said Franklin police Chief Russ Whitman in an email statement.

“This also includes all of the dispatchers from four different communication centers in the tri-county area who were able to keep everyone safe. The communication centers are not recognized nearly as much as they should be. They are just as important as the officer searching the woods in the middle of the night. Law enforcement is a team effort and county lines do not make a difference when it comes to keeping all of our communities safe.”

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