Columbus police arrest driver after pursuit

A local man was arrested on multiple charges after leading Columbus police officers on a chase into Bartholomew County.

Columbus police officer Paul Garnett attempted to stop a Mercury passenger car in the 1600 block of Franklin Street at 11:15 p.m. Monday after noting the vehicle did not have a license plate, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

The pursuit began after the vehicle’s driver, later identified as Jose Garcia Rodriguez, 26, 4850 Foxpoint Circle, refused to stop, Harris said.

It continued out of the city and into Bartholomew County where Rodriguez drove into a farm field while attempting to evade officers, Harris said.

The vehicle became disabled when Rodriguez drove across a second farm field in the 3400 block of South County Road 250E, and he then fled on foot, Harris said.

Officer Branch Schrader and police canine Argo caught Rodriguez soon after, ending the 25-minute pursuit, Harris said.

A small bag of methamphetamine was located inside Rodriguez’ vehicle, Harris said.

Rodriguez was arrested on charges of:

  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Resisting law enforcement in a vehicle
  • Resisting law enforcement on foot
  • Criminal recklessness
  • Operating a vehicle without a license

Rodriguez was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment of dog bites to his legs and is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $26,000 bond, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.