A Dayton man who led law enforcement on a three-county chase before being apprehended by a K-9 unit has entered pleas of guilty.
Michael Ware Jr., 28, appeared Friday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman.
He was indicted in April for receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and tampering with evidence and failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, both third-degree felonies.
Ware pleaded guilty Friday to the failure to comply and receiving stolen property charges.
On March 2 at approximately 8:50 p.m., a trooper with the Bowling Green post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol observed a Dodge Challenger traveling southbound on I-75 in Portage Township. A registration check reported the car as being stolen out of Michigan, said Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jim Hoppenjans.
The driver ignored a signal to stop, and a pursuit ensued. He nearly struck one vehicle and within seconds passed 13 additional vehicles while driving in excess of 140 mph, Hoppenjans said.
The trooper terminated the pursuit and notified law enforcement in Findlay and Lima, he said.
Troopers from the Findlay post of the highway patrol observed the vehicle southbound on I-75 and began pursuit. The Dodge almost crashed when avoiding stop sticks and Findlay troopers terminated the pursuit, according to court documents.
Troopers at the Lima post observed the vehicle southbound on I-75 and began pursuit at high rates of speed before the Dodge exited at Ohio 81 in Lima and troopers lost sight of the vehicle, Hoppenjans said.
A security guard at a Reservoir Road business in Lima reported seeing a Dodge enter the parking lot and park. He spoke with the driver, who told him he was waiting for a ride. The guard said the driver then entered the weeds located at the OSU Nature Preserve located southeast of the facility, he said.
A patrol helicopter responded and located the driver lying down in the weeds, which were so dense that officers were 2 yards away and did not spot the suspect, Hoppenjans said.
A K-9 from the Lima Police Department responded to the scene and assisted in Ware’s apprehension after he ignored repeated commands to surrender, Hoppenjans said.
Kuhlman said he could impose up to 36 months for the failure to comply charge and up to 18 months for receiving stolen property.
There also is a mandatory driver’s license suspension, he said.
Sentenced was set for Dec. 16, at which time the tampering charge will be dismissed.