Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 20, 2012

Sunday night downtown pursuit ends with arrests

2 detained after car, foot chase

Tammie Hetzer-Womack
For the Independent

ASHLAND — The safe, sound, and quick conclusion of a Sunday night pursuit is credited to smart police work by a deputy on the Boyd County Sheriff’s Office ranks — and a bit of luck. The call to service began earlier Sunday evening.

At 10:55 p.m. deputies responded to a physical assault at a home in the 6200 block of A.E. Lewis Street just off Summit Road in Summit. The victim, who refused medical treatment for minor injuries to his face and mouth, provided a description of his alleged attacker’s car, a 1998 white Pontiac Sunfire. Outside the house police found a broken cell phone and drug paraphernalia which pointed them in the right direction to begin exploring the assault case, said Sgt. Jamie Reihs.

From their scrutiny and tips, less than an hour later, Deputy James Stamper responded to the Ashland Inn at 3020 Winchester Ave. to continue the police probe for the suspect. Deputies hunted the motel  parking lot, flashlights in hand, looking for the car — and then it sped past them.

“It was unbelievable — like you couldn’t ask for anything better. Like a dream come true for a cop. We were right on top of him,” said Reihs, adding police begged the driver to stop, to no avail.

The car’s driver, Alfred J. Runyon, 48, abruptly escaped police with his passenger, Aaron Markin, 20, of Ashland.

The police chase, which began at 11:50 p.m. and concluded one minute later, terminated behind the Exxon station, shortly three blocks away from its beginnings. Runyon was arrested in the 3500 block of Central Avene after a quick foot pursuit. Once captured, the Ashland man allegedly refused to comply with Stamper’s verbal commands, struggling and kicking at the deputy during arrest. Police used a taser on him, Reihs said.

Police found suspected drugs in Runyon’s pants pocket during search as well as drug paraphernalia including a crack pipe and set of scales, police said.

Markin allegedly broke away from the car on foot, but was found less than 10 minutes later by officers, hunkered down hiding on a knoll behind the gas station, police reported.

Stamper and Reihs were assisted by Boyd County Sheriff Deputy Joel Workman and Ashland Police Department patrolmen. Catlettsburg police stood by at 55th Street in case the pursuit ensued into Gate City.

Both suspects were lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center where they remained late Monday afternoon. Runyon is charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle; second-degree fleeing or evading police on foot; disregarding a traffic control device; resisting arrest, and first-degree possession of a controlled substance. His bond was set at $5,000 full cash.

Markin is held under a $1,000 full cash bond on second-degree fleeing or evading police on foot, and resisting arrest charges.

Reihs praised Stamper and fellow responding officers for their unassailable work halting the pursuit.

“Any pursuit is dangerous, no matter the length. It’s a good night. We got the bad guys off the street and sent them to jail. No civilians were hurt. Drugs are off the street. And officers went home at the end of their shift,” he said. “When there’s a pursuit you pray it turns out this well.”