UPDATE: Fri. 11:56 p.m.: Manhunt continues in Liberty
LIBERTY — Police combed woods into the night tonight for a man who jumped out of a car and ran after crashing into a police cruiser.
Police found two loaded and chambered handguns under the driver’s seat of the Buick LeSabre the man abandoned. At least one of the guns had been reported as stolen, according to police reports.
The Liberty police officer driving the cruiser was bleeding from the head after the crash and was taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, reports state.
Southbound traffic on Logan Way to Tibbetts Wick Road was closed as more than 30 officers searched fields, woods and a nearby horse farm. A police dog, thermal imaging camera and a helicopter were used in the search.
Police said the suspect, who was not the owner of the LeSabre, is a 32-year-old Youngstown man with whom they are familiar.
A 911 report indicates the action began about 7:30 p.m. as Weathersfield police were in a high-speed pursuit that started near Scenna’s Restaurant. The driver of a Buick LeSabre sped east on Tibbetts Wick Road in the area of Logan Way, where a a Liberty police officer attempted to block the road.
The Buick smashed into the police cruiser, throwing the officer from the vehicle, reports state. The officer is expected to be OK, police said.
Police have not said what started the high-speed chase.
The driver of the LeSabre ran across a field and into woods. Police from Liberty, Vienna, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Youngstown, Hubbard Township and Vienna, among others, set up a perimeter around the wooded area to trap the man inside.
The man was spotted from time to time during the search. Officers were continuing the to close in late tonight.