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Police: Shots fired at car in Ohio court escape

May. 09, 2013 @ 04:54 PM

BELLAIRE, Ohio (AP) — A man trying to escape from custody at a courthouse on Thursday jumped into a getaway car driven by a woman, but authorities shot the car’s tires and arrested both of them, a sheriff’s detective said.

No serious injuries were reported in the shooting outside the Belmont County courthouse in Bellaire, in eastern Ohio. One sheriff’s detective said he suffered a minor injury to his leg when he was trying to get the man out of the car and get the driver to stop.

Detective Sgt. Ryan Allar said he dived into the car and was struggling with the occupants when another deputy stopped the car by shooting the tires.

Allar said he and some other deputies were in the courthouse when the man became angry with a judge who ordered him arrested. He said the man then fled the courthouse with the deputies chasing him.

Allar said he first tried to get the man out of the car and then went to the driver’s side, ordering the woman to stop.

“I was reaching across her, with the man’s shirt in my hand, when he pulled away and jumped out of the car,” Allar said.

The man was quickly apprehended and was taken with the woman to the Belmont County Jail in St. Clairsville, Allar said.

Allar, who had been in the courthouse on a separate case, said he couldn’t confirm the names of the man and the woman. Messages left for the sheriff, the police chief and jail officials were not immediately returned Thursday.

Officials from Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation were called to help in the investigation being handled by the Bellaire police, a dispatcher said. Messages left for BCI also were not immediately returned.

The man was at a hearing around 10 a.m. in the Eastern Division Court of Belmont County when he fled, a court official said.

Eastern Division Co-clerk Donna Cottage said she couldn’t release the man’s name or other case details. But she said the courthouse was locked down for about an hour until authorities informed court officials that the man had been arrested.

Cottage said people in her office couldn’t hear the shots or see anything and just went ahead with their work.

“We’re sort of used to incidents happening here,” she said. “We deal with defendants.”