Springfield man accused of grabbing steering wheel, crashing car

A Springfield man is accused of grabbing the steering wheel of a moving vehicle and forcing it to crash into a tree.

John Rawlins, 40, is charged in Clark County Municipal Court with felonious assault, assault, and use/possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and his bond was set at $16,000, according to online court records.

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Springfield police began their investigation when they were called to a crash near the Juvenile Detention Center on Columbia Street.

“Prior to arrival, dispatch advised that the female driver was claiming that her boyfriend, a Mr. John Rawlins caused the accident by taking control of the steering wheel and directing the vehicle toward a tree.”

The woman had injuries to her face, head and both hands, the affidavit says.

“She also complained of injuries to her left leg,” the affidavit says.

The woman told police Rawlins was asking her for money to purchase drugs, the affidavit says, and when she refused to give him money, he began punching her.

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“After grabbing the wheel, Mr. Rawlins reportedly jerked the steering wheel to the right, causing the car to crash into a tree.”

Officers were able to find Rawlins near Lagonda Avenue and East Columbia Street, according to the affidavit.

“Officers asked permission to grab Mr. Rawlins’ wallet out of his back pocket. After being granted permission to retrieve this item by Mr. Rawlins, a silver, metallic tube commonly used for consuming crack cocaine fell out of the same pocket,” the affidavit says.

A next court date has not been set in the case.

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