A police officer who broke off a two-county chase involving a stolen pickup truck tried to tell his fellow Tipp City officer to do the same, but communication problems prevented it, their chief said.
Investigators say Jordan Anthony Russell Harville was driving the stolen Ford F-250 pickup, which eventually struck and killed an innocent motorist, Anthony Hufford, 28.
Harville, 24, of Clayton, told deputies that he took heroin during the chase. Harville is currently in Miami County Jail on a $75,000 bond until more charges are filed.
The Tipp City units were behind two Troy officers who were leading the chase, Tipp City police Chief Eric Burris said.
Burris said the call came over dispatch Monday afternoon about a stolen vehicle going south on Interstate 75. He said his officers were nearby at exits 71 and 69 and pulled in behind the Troy cruisers.
When two Troy police officers ended their role in the chase that began in Miami County and went into Montgomery County, one of the Tipp City officers did the same, Burris said.
“At that point in time, my second car that was involved saw Troy terminate and terminated pursuit,” Burris said
The Tipp chief said one of his officers tried to call the other unit that was involved and couldn’t get an answer back, “and that unit continued on southbound.”
“We did have some radio issues that seemed to garble some communications. I think some of that is apparent in the video,” Burris said.
Burris said that his officers should always factor in what crimes the suspect committed versus safety of the public: “It’s hard for the officer, in the heat of the moment, to sometimes always do that.”
The chief said his officer was well behind the fleeing pickup when it crashed into Hufford’s vehicle. He noted that Ohio State Highway Patrol and Montgomery County Sheriff’s units — which did not take part in the chase — are shown on cruiser camera after the crash.
“We arrive 30 to 40 seconds after the crash occurs,” Burris said. “So we were way back.
“We all probably got to the crash scene very close to the same time.”
Burris said his department would review the incident.
“We’re going to do that, of course, and see where we’re at, what we can do better the next time, what we did right, what we did wrong, all of those things,” the chief said.
Burris said he wasn’t aware of any general protocol for officers from Troy, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Tipp City, Vandalia or Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office about I-75 chases.
“I don’t know that there’s any set kind of a policy,” he said. “I know we all try to work together.”
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