A “highly intoxicated” Portsmouth, Ohio man tried to take a Chevy to the levy and ended up in handcuffs after a police chase. It all started last Friday, just before 11:30 pm. Portsmouth Police Dispatch received multiple calls reporting a reckless driver at Spartan Stadium. The callers said a red Chevy truck was driving recklessly, doing donuts, and attempting to drive up onto the levy.”
Lt. Paul Lancaster was on Charles Street spotted the suspect driving north down Boundary when he spotted the truck. He said the driver saw other officers coming towards him on Boundary and quickly turned onto Charles. According to Lancaster, “I heard tires squealing and the engine accelerate as he turned towards me.”
Lancaster activated lights and sirens and turned to give chase. According to the police report, the driver drove the Chevy 60 mph in a 25 zone to evade police.
Lancaster followed him as he turned north on Broadway, then east on Royce. Finding nowhere to turn on Royce, the driver drove up over the curb and back down the road before finally stopping.
Officer Aaron Broughton was also part of the chase. When he arrived on the scene, he placed the driver, James Johnson, in handcuffs.
Highly Intoxicated and Hard To Test
According to Broughton, “James Johnson has bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of an odor of alcoholic beverage.” Johnson did not do well on the gaze test. He did inform Broughton that he had suffered head trauma while serving in the military.
Because Johnson ran from police and had appeared to have a “high level of intoxication,” Broughton did not give any field sobriety tests beyond the horizontal gaze test. He feared Johnson might attempt to run if he released him from handcuffs.
The police report said they were unable to get a valid breath test at the station. Officers transported Johnson to the Ohio State Patrol Post for another test. The trooper there told police Johnson was purposefully causing invalid results by starting and stopping his breathing.
He was arrested for OVI and transported to the Scioto County Jail. Bond was set at $1,000. He’s due in Portsmouth Municipal Court for a pretrial hearing on October 6.