Car going 100 mph sparks Warren County pursuit, ends in kidnapping, double carjacking

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The driver of a car allegedly going 100 mph on Interstate 75 led police on a chase that included the theft of two vehicles and the kidnapping of two children.

A blue Kia Niro reportedly was driving 100 mph on I-75 south near Franklin Twp about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol pilot initially observed the vehicle and alerted officers to its location. Troopers from the Lebanon post of OSHP turned on their lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop, and the vehicle fled, beginning a pursuit.

The vehicle allegedly was driven by Bryon Finklea Jr., 21, of Dayton, according to a press release from the patrol. Finklea fled south, exiting I-75 in Monroe near state Route 63. He pulled into the parking lot of a Kroger store, and his passenger, Jonisa Reddick, 21, of Dayton, exited the vehicle. Reddick was taken into custody without incident, but Finklea fled the scene.

The Kia continued east on state Route 63, but became disabled as it reached Gateway Boulevard in Turtle Creek Twp. Finklea reportedly exited the vehicle and carjacked a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Josh Morath, 36, of Lebanon. Morath’s two minor children were in the back seat. Finklea stole the Malibu with the two children inside it, officials reported.

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The pilot continued to monitor the pursuit and relayed the vehicle to pursuing units from the Lebanon and Hamilton OSHP posts and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The Chevrolet Malibu came to a stop in the area of US 42 and state Route 62 in the city of Lebanon, where one of the minor children exited the vehicle. A Warren County Sheriff’s deputy stopped and secured the child. The second child was let out in the city of Mason and was secured by a Mason police officer.

Finklea was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Tylersville Road at Dudley Drive in West Chester Twp. He exited the stolen vehicle, and officials said he carjacked a 2008 Ford Edge driven by a 16-year-old from Franklin. He fled the scene in the Ford Edge and traveled north on I-75. Due to traffic conditions and the speed of the pursuit, officers stopped pursuing Finkelea. The stolen vehicle was eventually was located in a Dayton neighborhood by the Dayton Police Department.

The pursuit, crash, carjackings and kidnapping are all under investigation by the Lebanon and Wilmington OSHP Investigative Services. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe Police Department, Lebanon Police Department, Mason Police Department, West Chester Police Department, Springboro Police Department and Dayton Police Department are assisting in the investigation.

Finklea had not been taken into custody Sunday.

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