Ohio cop struck while deploying spike strips

The officer was listed in good condition after a break-in suspect hit him in his attempt to lay the strip down

By Mary Beth Lane
The Columbus Dispatch

DANVILLE, Ohio — Business break-ins led to a police pursuit in Knox County that injured a Danville police officer when he was struck by the fleeing suspect's vehicle yesterday morning.

The chase ended when the suspect crashed his vehicle into a parked car while being pursued by officers in Centerburg in Knox County, near the Delaware County line.

Officer Chad Lishness, 23, was struck at 6:40 a.m. near Rts. 36 and 62 east of Mount Vernon while he was attempting to deploy spike strips to puncture the tires of the suspect's vehicle, said Knox County Sheriff Dave Shaffer.

The driver, Joshua T. Baldridge, 18, of Mount Vernon, was taken into custody. He is being held in the Knox County jail awaiting charges as a suspect in the pursuit that injured Lishness, Shaffer said.

Reports indicated that Lishness was in good condition, Shaffer said. "Given the extreme nature of the suspect's actions, we are grateful that no other officers or members of the public were injured," Shaffer said.

The events unfolded when a deputy discovered a break-in at a business on Columbus Road in Mount Vernon at 5:11 a.m., authorities said. Eleven minutes later, Mount Vernon police received a burglary alarm at another Columbus Road business.

Mount Vernon police tried to stop a suspect's vehicle on Howard Street about 50 minutes later. The car sped away, with pursuit continuing east on Rt. 36 to Rt. 62, where Lishness was struck, Shaffer said.

Authorities lost track of the suspect's vehicle as Lishness was flown by helicopter to Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, the sheriff said.

Deputies then were dispatched at 8:03 a.m. to investigate a report of a male slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle near Goodall and Murray roads. When deputies arrived, the vehicle sped off.

The pursuit continued on Sycamore and Johnstown roads and Rt. 36 before the car crashed into a parked car on Main Street in Centerburg about 8:30 a.m., Shaffer said.

Copyright 2013 The Columbus Dispatch

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