LORAIN — After three men were held at gunpoint in a possible drug deal gone wrong Thursday night, police launched an investigation and arrested two suspects after an early morning, high-speed car chase in Lorain.
About 2:30 a.m. Friday, police charged William Garner, 21, of Lorain, and Nico Cox, 19, of Lorain, with possession of crack, marijuana, Schedule III drugs and drug paraphernalia. Because of the police chase that preceded the arrests, Cox, the alleged driver in the chase, also was charged with reckless operation of a vehicle, failure to comply with police and operating a vehicle without a license.
The incident began about 10 p.m. Thursday when Casey Pope, 52, told police he was visiting friend Larry Smith, 54, and Frederick Hardnett, 37, at Smith’s apartment in the 4600 block of Oberlin Avenue.
Hardnett told police that he called two men nicknamed “Cash” and “Lucky” — identified as Cox — to buy Xanax pills from Pope, though Pope denied trying to sell the pills.
When the duo came to Smith’s house, they asked Pope to give them the drugs and Pope refused. Cox pulled out a small revolver and pointed it at Pope, demanding the drugs, and the two men ran from the house with 80 Xanax pills, according to the report.
Hardnett told police he was in Cash and Cox’s car with a friend of theirs during the alleged robbery. When they got into the car and began to drive away, Hardnett told police he received a call from Smith about the robbery.
Hardnett tried to ask Cash, Cox and their friend about the robbery and Cash pulled out a gun and ordered him out of the car in response, according to the report.
As the car went north on Ashland Avenue, Hardnett wrote down the license-plate number for police.
After questioning Hardnett, Smith and Pope, police began checking the area. After they ran the plate, they discovered the car belonged to Victoria Perchinsky, 39, of the 2200 block of Tower Boulevard.
When police questioned Perchinsky, she told them that she lent the car to Cash and Cox earlier in the evening, according to the report. Police began looking for the car and about 2:15 a.m. Friday, they found it driving south near Leavitt and Meister roads.
As police followed, the car sped up, driving through two stop signs, jumping a curb and going more than 80 miles an hour, according to police. The police chase continued through the area of West 30th Street. The vehicle hit a curb in the chase, but despite knocking off one of the front tires of the car, continued through a field and west onto East 33rd Street.
The chase ended when the car ran off Elyria Avenue.
Police took Cox and his passenger, Garner, into custody and searched the car , in which they found crack, Xanax, marijuana and Schedule III drugs on the floor.
The car was towed, and Cox and Garner were taken to Lorain City Jail where they were being held without bond.
Police have not been able to identify “Cash” or the unnamed friend who was in the car during the robbery.