A Lorain man is in custody after a high-speed chase spanning two counties after police said he stole a police cruiser.
Lorain police Lt. Michael Failing said police were called to a home on Livingston Street to do a welfare check on behalf of the Nord Center. There, they encountered Brandon Pettry, 30, and took him into custody.
Chris Pettry, Brandon’s mother, said her son had been released Wednesday from Lutheran Hospital-Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, having been in and out of hospitals in the last month for mental illness.
She said Brandon Pettry’s grandmother dropped him off at his sister’s house on Livingston Street. Police arrived with an ambulance as backup for the welfare check.
His mother said the ambulance didn’t take Brandon Pettry because he knew his name, where he was and said he took his medication.
“I told them it was a mistake and he might hurt himself or others,” she said. “This was a mother’s cry for help. I’m devastated. My heart’s broken.”
Failing said Brandon Pettry had an outstanding warrant in Lorain County Common Pleas Court for a probation violation relating to a breaking and entering charge, in addition to a warrant from Cuyahoga County on carrying a concealed weapon.
Police met with sheriff’s deputies to hand off Pettry to their custody. While there, he got in a fight with officers and deputies, got into a Lorain police cruiser and drove off, Failing said.
Failing said the pursuit reached speeds higher than
90 mph, and law enforcement — including Erie and Lorain County sheriff’s deputies and the Ohio Highway Patrol in addition to Lorain — continued to pursue the car because it had weapons in it.
“Stop the car right now before you hurt yourself or someone else,” police could be heard saying over the scanner.
The cruiser was chased west on state Route 113 from Lorain County into Erie County, and into Milan. From there, the chase continued on U.S. Route 250 and then state Route 13, where spike strips were deployed near Thunderbird Hills Golf Course near state Route 2.
The cruiser went airborne and crashed into a ditch, and Pettry was taken into custody, Failing said.
Milan resident Abigail Geason said she was on her way home from the north entrance of the golf course when a cop “flew past” her, so she pulled over to the side of the road.
“Then there was two cops — one at the driving range entrance and one at the south entrance — and they were throwing spikes into the road, so I stopped immediately,” she said. “A car came flying past ... and then it was like airborne. It flew all the way into the ditch. I saw pieces flying off and then the officers pulled out their guns.”
Geason said once the car went airborne and crashed, she was allowed to continue driving, but she was shaken.
“I was scared. It was terrifying,” she said. “I thought the car was going to hit me. I didn’t know what was going on at first.”
Pettry was taken by police to a local hospital with minor injuries. Two Lorain police officers were treated for injuries from the fight at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, but there wer no other injuries in the chase.
Contact Vince Guerrieri at 329-7124 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @VinceGuerrieri.