Police: Suspect ran light, nearly hit patrol car, faces drug charges

Columbus police arrested a Westport man after he drove away from them after running a red light and was accused of nearly striking a patrol car.

Officer Tony Kummer saw a car driving north on Central Avenue at 7:25 p.m. Monday that failed to stop for a traffic light at 17th Street, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

A pursuit began when the driver, later identified as Bobby W. Richards, 30, refused to stop, Harris said.

Richards drove through a nearby alley and Kummer lost sight of the vehicle near 20th Street and Caldwell Place, where the pursuit was stopped, Harris said. However, a license plate check on the vehicle revealed the registered owner lived in the 2800 block of 17th Street.

When officers went to the address, they found the wanted vehicle parked in the driveway, Harris said. Officers located Richards in the backyard and while arresting him found marijuana and a glass pipe in his clothing, Harris said.

Richards was arrested on preliminary charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a vehicle without a license and resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, Harris said.

His bond was set at $16,000 and he was released from the Bartholomew County Jail through the probation department’s program that allows qualifying defendants to be released without posting bond, jail officials said.