WCH man arrested following high speed chase


A Washington Court House man was arrested Wednesday night following a pursuit that exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour, according to reports.

On Wednesday around 8:30 p.m., Washington Police Department Patrolman Edwin Stapleton initiated a traffic stop on Dayton Avenue near Van Deman Street for a vehicle with a defective exhaust causing excessive noise. In his report he wrote that when he activated his overhead lights and began to radio dispatch the traffic stop information, the vehicle allegedly began to rapidly accelerate away on Van Deman. The vehicle then turned onto Briar Avenue to Madison Avenue before running a stop sign and returning southbound on Dayton Avenue.

“At this time both overhead lights and sirens were activated as the vehicle traveled southbound on Dayton Ave. reaching speeds of 73 miles per hour in the posted 35 mph zone,” Stapleton wrote in his report.

According to both Stapleton’s report and patrolman Justin L. Everhart’s report, the vehicle then approached Everhart — who was stationary on Dayton Avenue waiting to deploy spike strips and assist with the chase — and quickly eluded the officers before continuing down Old U.S. 35.

“Due to the pursuit speed I was unable to (get) them accessed and deployed,” Everhart wrote in his report. “I then entered the pursuit behind Ofc. Stapleton. The pursuit continued out (Old 35) and turned left onto Palmer Road. The vehicle then made a quick right turn onto U.S. Hwy 35.”

The vehicle then allegedly reached speeds of 103 miles per hour before the driver began to slow down on U.S. 35 and came to a final rest. According to reports, the vehicle was found with two occupants: Dustin Kinder, 20, of Washington C.H., and Savannah Mitchem, 20, of Jeffersonville.

“Mr. Kinder was transported to the Fayette County Jail and charged with failure to comply with (an) order or signal of police officer, violating a protection order for the passenger of the vehicle, (Mitchem) is the protected persons on an active protection order issued by the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas,” Stapleton said in his report. “Mr. Kinder was additionally issued a traffic citation for operating a motor vehicle with a valid license, speed, stop sign and marked lanes. A warning was annotated at the bottom of the citation for loud exhaust.”

Additionally, Everhart said in his report that Mitchem was issued a citation for wrongful entrustment for allowing Kinder to operate the vehicle without a valid driver’s license, and the vehicle was towed from the scene. Kinder is being held in the Fayette County Jail.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.


By Martin Graham

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