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Gun-toting visitors, pursuit keep police busy

HANGING ROCK - Two Akron men face charges after a routine traffic stop Friday night became considerably less than routine.

Meanwhile, a South Point man is behind bars after leading area authorities on a pursuit from Hanging Rock to Coal Grove.

Hanging Rock Police Chief William Long said Rocky Scott, 46, of Akron is charged with possession of cocaine. John R. Lich, 51, of Silver Lake, is charged with receiving stolen property.

"It was a traffic stop for speeding," Long said. "In the process officer (Chris) Steed and I were talking to the two people in the vehicle and while

we were talking officer Steed noticed a weapon in the vehicle," Long said.

A search of the vehicle turned up 11 handguns and rifles and a quantity of cocaine.

"While checking the vehicle, Mr. Lich, the driver, said several times that those were the only weapons he had and then we would just find more," Long said.

Lich told Steed and Long he was a gun collector and had purchased the weapons in several states.Both men are expected to appear today in Ironton Municipal Court.

Also, Otis E. Hogston, 42, of 26 Township Road 1377, South Point was arrested early Sunday morning after a high speed pursuit that began in Hanging Rock and ended near the Ashland bridges.

Long said Steed and Sgt. Darrell Davis began pursuit of Hogston after a stop sign violation. They then pursued him into Ironton where city police joined the pursuit, and then into Coal Grove where police there joined the pursuit.

Coal Grove police Sgt. Jason Bloomfield said at one point, Hogston allegedly tried to ram a Coal Grove police cruiser with his pick up truck.

Once taken into custody, he fought with officers who arrested him.

"He spat on (Sgt. Eric) Spurlock and made several threats to him," Bloomfield said. "He kept on resisting arrest even after he had been cuffed."

Bloomfield said he is planning to file two counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated menacing in connection with the incident.

Hogston already is facing fleeing and eluding, disorderly conduct and right of way violations filed by Hanging Rock police. He was taken to the Lawrence County Jail.

The pursuit through Ironton reached an estimated speed of 55 miles an hour; the pursuit on State Route 93 reached an estimated speed of 90 miles an hour, Long said.