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Chases beoming #8216;epidemic#8217;

It’s becoming an epidemic, one local official said: People leading police on a high speed chase, often putting not only their lives in jeopardy but the lives of others as well. A sentence handed down Wednesday may make drivers think before they get behind the wheel and refuse to stop for that flashing light.

Brian Bond, 23, of 107 Stanley St., Coal Grove, pleaded guilty May 14 to one count of failure to comply with the order and signal of a police officer. Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Bond to three years in prison but agreed that if Bond stays out of trouble while he is behind bars, he may be eligible for judicial release after six months provided he is accepted into a treatment program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

On Feb 21, an Ironton police officer tried to stop Bond for a traffic violation. Instead of pulling over, Bond

continued driving first on Oak Street, then turned left and drove the wrong way on Seventh Street to Vernon and then to Third Street where he headed out of Ironton and into Coal Grove where the chase ended. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said at times, Bond’s speed was 100 miles an hour, he was running traffic lights and stop signs, passing other cars — and he was intoxicated.

“Fortunately no one was injured,” Anderson said after Wednesday’s hearing. “There was the potential for disaster there.”

Bond’s attorney, Chris Delawder, asked if his client could have one or two months to work and save money for his wife and child to live on while he is incarcerated.

“Mr. Bond has come in, really from the start and has not denied what happened. He has taken responsibility. I know that Mr. Anderson has taken this into consideration,” Delawder said. “Usually, there is a criminal record when there is a charge like this. But he does not have one. He works full-time. His wife is in the courtroom here and he has a baby. This was a lapse in judgment.”

Bond cried as he repeated this request to Cooper.

“I’ve never done anything like this before in my life. I’m sorry. I’m going to take responsibility. It’s sad they have to pay for what I’ve done, that they have to hurt,” Bond said.

Cooper allowed Bond to report to prison July 8. Cooper said while Bond had his good points— he’s gainfully employed and takes care of his family— he also broke the law. He described Bond’s actions as “horribly dangerous,” a thought Anderson repeated after the sentencing.

“We need to start hammering these people who run from the police and put the public at high risk of injury.” Anderson said.