UPDATE: Sat. 1:15 a.m.: Arrest made in Liberty manhunt
LIBERTY — Police combed woods into the night Friday for a man who jumped out of a car and ran after crashing into a police cruiser. A Youngstown man was arrested early this morning after police closed in on him in wooded area.
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 Friday night 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. He was being booked at press time. Charges were not yet available.
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 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 had not said what started the high-speed chase.
The driver of the LeSabre ran across a field and into the 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.