Police chase leads to arrest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2003

A Columbus man allegedly led officers from the Ironton Police Department on a high-speed chase through the city Friday afternoon.

Nathaniel Lee Johnson, 24, of 2060 East Fifth Ave., Columbus was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer -- eluding or fleeing.

Around 4 p.m., Patrolman Shawn Rawlins witnessed Johnson driving erratically near the intersection of South Fourth and Heplar streets, Ironton police detective, Capt. Chris Bowman said. When Rawlins activated the lights on his cruiser, signaling for Johnson to pull over, he allegedly took off at a high rate of speed.

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During the chase, Bowman said the driver ran stop signs and disregarded the safety of others because many people were out at that time of the day. While driving through the 1800 block of South Fifth Street, officers saw Johnson toss a handgun out of his car's window.

Johnson was finally apprehended at the intersection of 3 1/2 alley and Oak Street by Rawlins and Ironton police officer Pam Neal. He was arrested without incident and transported to the Lawrence County Jail, Bowman said. He was later released on bond.

The handgun was later discovered by a concerned citizen and was retrieved by police, Bowman said. Along with the other charges, Johnson will be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony, when he appears in Ironton Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. Monday.