Vehicle, foot pursuit ends in arrest on drug charges

A local man was arrested after he was accused of leading Columbus police on a vehicle and foot pursuit.

Columbus police officer Wesley Dodge went to the area of 17th and Midway streets at 7:15 p.m. Thursday to check on a report of a possibly intoxicated driver, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Dodge spotted the vehicle and later identified the driver as Matthew D. Richardson, 37, of 605 Eighth St., who drove away when Dodge attempted to stop him, Harris said.

Richardson sped across the parking lot at Columbus Regional Hospital at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, crashed into a chain-link fence gate and then fled on foot after leaving the vehicle in the backyard of a residence in the 2600 block of 22nd Street, Harris said.

Three Columbus Police Department canines and their handlers, training nearby, were sent to assist in the search, Harris said.

Officer Branch Schrader and canine partner Argo located Richardson lying down in a wooded area near Lincoln Park, Harris said. Argo assisted in Richardson’s arrest after Richardson refused to show his hands and come out of the wooded area, Harris said.

Officers suspected Richardson was under the influence of an intoxicant and he was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood draw and treatment for a dog bite, Harris said.

While searching Richardson’s vehicle, officers found drug paraphernalia including an uncapped syringe and a scale, Harris said.

After being discharged from the hospital, Richardson was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of:

  • Operating a vehicle as an habitual traffic violator
  • Resisting law enforcement with a vehicle
  • Possession of a legend drug-injection device
  • Possession of a legend drug-smoking device
  • Possession of a legend drug
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Resisting law enforcement on foot
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence — endangerment
  • Criminal recklessness

Richardson is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $106,000 bond, jail officials said.

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