ELYRIA — A fugitive wanted for allegedly assaulting a Lorain police officer last month has been taken into custody after a chase and car crash Wednesday in Elyria.
Elyria police spokesman Capt. Chris Costantino said narcotics detectives got a tip shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday that 23-year-old Kenandrew A. Clark of Lorain was staying at an apartment on Washington Avenue in Elyria.
Clark was wanted on a charge of felonious assault on a law enforcement officer, a first-degree felony, for an incident in Lorain on Nov. 24, as well as on misdemeanor charges of driving under suspension and obstructing official business.
According to Lorain police and the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, Clark assaulted a Lorain police officer following a Nov. 24 incident at Mutt and Jeff’s Bar at 3700 Oberlin Ave. in Lorain.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Lorain officers saw Clark while on patrol, and recognized him as a wanted fugitive. Clark quickly got in his car, but when officers attempted to remove him from the vehicle, he put the car in reverse and drove out of the parking lot, striking one of the officers.
The officer was not seriously injured, and the vehicle was found abandoned in the front yard of a house on Tanglewood Drive, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
On Wednesday, detectives and task force agents staked out the apartments to find Clark. Shortly thereafter, they saw Clark behind the wheel of a gray 2005 Honda Civic coming out of a parking lot in the 200 block of Washington Ave.
The car headed north on Washington, and detectives pulled in behind it in an unmarked vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. Once they activated their lights and sirens, Clark “accelerated quickly in an attempt to flee from officers,” according to Elyria police.
The chase proceeded east from Washington Avenue onto Harrison Street at a high rate of speed until it reached Harrison Street and Glenwood Avenue, where Clark’s vehicle lost control, left the road, struck a tree and came to rest upside down.
Clark was seen kicking open the driver’s side door “in an attempt to flee” and “refused to comply with detectives instructions to remain in the vehicle,” Costantino said.
Outside the car, Clark “continued to fight and yell obscenities at officers” but was taken into custody after a brief struggle, Costantino said.
Two passengers, a man and a woman, also were inside the car. Clark and the male passenger were transported to a local hospital for treatment, and later released. The woman complained of injury at the scene but refused medical treatment, Costantino said.
Clark also now is charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a second-degree felony, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony, driving under suspension, a first-degree misdemeanor, resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of a person, a minor misdemeanor, according to Elyria police.
Facing a total of 24 criminal and traffic charges and warrants, Clark was being held in Lorain County Jail on $111,000 bond. Additional or amended charges are possible once his case is presented to a Lorain County grand jury.
“Officers should be commended for locating and placing a very dangerous individual into custody,” Costantino said. “Clark’s wanton disregard for the safety of others (including the passengers in his vehicle) was clearly evident in his actions during this incident. Our community is much safer with him in custody and off our streets.”