Chase leads Falls police to SW Warren

NEWTON FALLS — A Windham man was arrested on traffic charges and other warrants Thursday following a lengthy police chase from Newton Falls into the southwest side of Warren.

Freddie D. Rutherford Jr., 38, of Smalley Road, will be arraigned in Newton Falls Municipal Court next week on charges of failure to comply with the order of a police officer, failure to control a vehicle, failure to yield and driving under suspension.

Newton Falls police officers were notified Thursday that Rutherford and another woman who was wanted on warrants were in the village, riding in a silver Ford Focus.

About 7:30 p.m., an officer observed the Focus drive past him on Freedom Avenue and identified the driver as Rutherford. The woman in the passenger seat was identified as Samantha Etz, who was a fugitive, the report states.

The police cruiser tried to initiate a traffic stop near Newton Drive and Freedom Avenue, but the Rutherford vehicle continued driving on Columbus Avenue toward Arlington Avenue, heading out of town, the report states.

As the chase reached Newton Falls Bailey Road and then northbound on Wood Lenhart and Hewitt Gifford roads, the speeds reached about 115 mph, the report states.

The chase then went from Kale Adams to Layer roads SW and then eastbound onto Risher Road where speeds varied between 85 and 100 mph, the report states.

Using side streets, Rutherford maneuvered his car onto Nevada Avenue SW heading toward West Market Street. He suddenly turned east on Victoria then Holliday Street, making a U-turn heading back toward Victoria. The Focus ended up on a gravel road heading westbound toward Martin Luther King Drive at a speed of about 60 mph, the report states.

The Ford tried to get through a pile of brush near a dumpster that blocked the gravel road, but a large rock caused the Ford’s air bag to deploy. The following Newton Falls police cruiser slid into the dumpster while trying to stop, the report states.

Rutherford fled on foot through heavy brush, into a wooded area and then a small rocky ravine where the man reportedly fell. The officer giving chase on foot also fell down the ravine cutting his left hand, the report states, but he managed to arrest Rutherford.

Warren police officers, who were assisting in the chase, had the woman in custody at the vehicle. A police dog helped search the vehicle, where dozens of sandwich and smaller plastic bags were recovered, but no substances were found, the report states.


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