A Columbus man was arrested Wednesday morning after he allegedly almost struck a sheriff’s deputy with a stolen vehicle and subsequently led deputies on a high-speed chase.
At 8:37 a.m., the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious vehicle on the rear parking lot area of Love’s Travel Center at U.S. 35 and Interstate 71. According to the caller, a man was outside the vehicle removing the license plates.
Deputies Andrew Parks and Jon Campbell arrived and found the vehicle, described as a white cargo-style van, with a male inside. The suspect was later identified as Franklin D. Scales III, 41, of Columbus.
As deputies attempted to make contact with Scales, he placed the vehicle in drive and fled, nearly striking Parks, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. Scales also reportedly struck a parked semi tractor-trailer as he departed the lot of the business.
Parks and Campbell returned to their vehicle and gave chase as Scales drove onto Garringer-Edgefield Road and turned eastbound on State Route 435. He then entered I-71 South, traveled for a short distance and then drove onto the highway median, turning onto I-71 North, according to Stanforth.
The pursuit continued on I-71 North where Scales exited onto State Route 435 and continued east before entering the US 35 bypass. Scales was stopped and taken into custody without incident on US 35 near State Route 435 by deputies and members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
During the investigation, deputies discovered that the vehicle Scales was driving was a “Meals on Wheels” van that had been reported stolen to the Dayton Police Department just prior to deputies responding to the suspicious call.
Scales was charged with felonious assault, fleeing & eluding a law enforcement officer, receiving stolen property and driving under suspension. He is being held in the Fayette County Jail in lieu of bond pending his appearance in Washington C.H. Municipal Court.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica