29-mile chase ends in an arrest at gunpoint

A man who was being stopped for a license plate violation in Middletown led Ohio Highway Patrol troopers on a 29-mile, chase in three counties before ramming a cruiser at a Sharonville business early Sunday morning.

Richard Todd, 38, who is believed to live in Middletown and Summerfield, Fla., was arrested on multiple charges and outstanding warrants early Sunday morning after leading troopers on a chase at speeds reaching 100 mph.

A trooper attempted to stop the car at about 1:56 a.m. Sunday on Ohio 122 at Dixie Highway in Middletown for a fictitious registration violation, according to an initial incident report.

The car sped off onto Interstate 75 south at high speeds with two Highway Patrol cruisers in a pursuit that went into Liberty, West Chester and Deerfield townships, portions of Mason and eventually down Cincinnati-Dayton Road to a Hill Street business in Sharonville. In Sharonville, a northern Hamilton County suburb, is where the suspect’s 1995 Toyota Celica rammed a locked chain-link fence gate with one cruiser in pursuit. The Celica circled around in the lot and rammed the second cruiser in pursuit that was about to come through the gate.

The trooper was uninjured in the crash, said Lt. Clint Arnold, Hamilton post commander.

Arnold said the 22-minute chase was at speeds of 90 to 100 mph going down.

The trooper whose cruiser was rammed exited the vehicle and apprehended one of the suspects at gunpoint, Arnold said. The other trooper apprehended the other suspect.

Troopers also found a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun under the driver’s seat.

Arnold said the passenger in the car Todd was driving is not facing charges.

Todd was arraigned in Middletown Municipal Court on Monday on charges of eluding, a third-degree felony; felonious assault on a police officer a first-degree felony; improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle, and receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony. He is also facing a second felonious assault charge and misdemeanor charges of criminal damaging, fictitious registration, and OVI as well as minor misdemeanor charges of no operator’s license and not wearing a seat belt.

He is in the Middletown City Jail under a $147,000 bond. A preliminary hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 17 in Middletown court.

In the cruiser cam video, Todd was heard telling troopers that he had outstanding warrants and was out on a medical furlough from jail when asked why he ran.

In October, Todd had a case bound over to a Butler County grand jury related to charges of felony receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor eluding and driving under suspension.

“The moral of the story is that running from police never pays,” he said. “One hundred percent of the time, those who run don’t want to get caught.”

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