SCIOTO TOWNSHIP - A Columbus man was arrested Monday after leading a Pickaway County Sheriff's deputy on a chase through the northern county and into the Grove City area.
Matthew Halley, 36, was taken into custody by Deputy Matt Lane after about a 10-minute pursuit that ended when he turned a stolen vehicle into the path of the oncoming sheriff's cruiser on Welch Road in a final effort to elude capture.
Lane was the first of three deputies dispatched to the scene about 12:51 p.m. on Matville Road near Orient in which a caller reported a male subject was attempting to steal a four-wheeler on a trailer at the residence.
Lane said Halley was attempting to hook the trailer to the hitch of a stolen pickup truck when he arrived on the scene.
"He was knelt down trying to hook the trailer up," Lane said. "He didn't even know I was there. I ordered him out at gunpoint and told him to show me his hands. That's when he jumped into the truck and took off."
The pursuit began about 1 p.m. and ran westbound on state Route 762, then northbound on High Street in Orient. Halley then headed northbound on Stahl Road to U.S. Route 62, then northbound onto Interstate 71 to Route 665 in Grove City.
Lane said speeds at some points reached about 110 miles per hour, sometimes through heavy traffic, and Halley finally turned southbound at Hoover Road, which becomes Welch Road as it enters Pickaway County.
Stop sticks were deployed by a waiting deputy but missed their mark, Lane said, and Halley continued southbound on Welch Road until a slow-moving vehicle got in the way.
"He started around that car and had to brake hard," Lane said. "I had to brake hard enough to get around it, too, but (Halley) turned left in front of me to go down a driveway, and I couldn't get stopped in time. We collided on the road. I pretty much t-boned him."
Even after the crash when the vehicles were locked together, Lane said Halley again attempted to flee. The deputy shot out the front left tire of the stolen pickup, and at that point, Halley gave himself up. The chase lasted about 10 minutes, ending at 1:10 p.m.
Lane was not injured in the crash, but Halley claimed a medical issue and was transported to Berger Hospital for treatment.
He faces felony charges of fleeing and eluding, along with other charges related to the stolen vehicle and attempted theft of the four-wheeler, according to Sheriff Robert Radcliff.
Radcliff said Lane did an excellent job in the situation in which he was basically on his own until additional deputies finally arrived on the scene after the crash.
"A lot of times you get a call like this, a report about someone stealing something, and you find out it's a family member or friend who has permission," Radcliff said. "We were pretty confident this was a theft in progress, though, and had more cars moving that way, but Matt was just able to get there first. He didn't lose him, he stayed right there with him, and he was pretty much on his own until he apprehended him."
Radcliff said the cruiser suffered serious front-end damage, but he will not know the extent of the damage until it is assessed by a mechanic.