ZANESVILLE, Ohio – .An intense standoff between a Pennsylvania motorist and area law enforcement took place Sunday at the Interstate 70 exit to Underwood Street in Zanesville.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Russell Pasqualetti detailed the events that led up to the confrontation.
“Basically it started in Belmont County around 6:20 p.m. last night. There was an ACDA crash, an assured clear distance ahead. It just means two cars hit each other, a rear-end crash on the interstate. One of the vehicles was a bright red H-2 Hummer, a pretty obvious vehicle. It left the scene, so it was a hit-skip vehicle. So we were out looking for that vehicle on the interstate as it continued westbound,” Pasqualetti said.
The state patrol began following the vehicle, driven by 40-year-old Jeremy Ritter, in Guernsey County before he ran over spike strips near the Adamsville Road exit and stopped about halfway down the Underwood Street off-ramp.
“From there we stayed behind him in basically a felony stop situation. We got on the P.A. system and ordered him to come out of the car and he wouldn’t come out of the car and at that point we called for a negotiator to come in,” Pasqualetti said. “We were trying to talk to him to get him to come out and he still wouldn’t come out. We eventually started evacuating other businesses near Underwood. Again that was for the public safety. Everything we did here was mindful of public safety and officer safety. That’s why nobody went up to the car.”
Ritter, who is facing charges in three counties, eventually surrendered without incident at 9:14 p.m. and was transported to Genesis Hospital for observation. No firearms or contraband was found in the vehicle but authorities suspected drug use was involved.
Pasqualetti expressed gratitude to all of the local agencies that collaborated in the apprehension.