A driver led Columbus police on a brief chase and then bailed from his vehicle and escaped, the second time in two days officers have been involved in such an incident.
Columbus Police Department Sgt. Jason Christophel attempted to stop a vehicle for traffic violations near 11th and Washington streets at about 8:30 p.m. Friday, according to police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers.
But the driver tried to elude the officer, who gave chase. In the 900 block of Franklin Street, the driver jumped from the vehicle and ran. The then-unmanned car careened and struck two parked cars, but no one was injured, according to Myers.
Patrolman Chad Lehman and his police dog, Rex, tracked the driver but came up empty. Officers found anhydrous tanks and other components to manufacture methamphetamine in the vehicle.
Myers said police also contacted the family of the vehicle’s owner, who has been out of town. A relative told police that the car had been sitting in the family’s driveway hours earlier with the keys inside.
This incident closely matches one that unfolded Thursday downtown when Christophel tried to pull over a vehicle when police responded to a call about a theft. The driver of that vehicle bailed in the 1000 block of Chestnut Street, and eluded police.
He has not been found, but officers still are investigating.
“We believe we know who that particular driver is,” Myers said.
“We can’t have people regularly running from police, since public safety can be affected.”
Myers said people with information about either incident can call police and remain anonymous.