- Michael Cooper Staff Writer
A Springfield man faces multiple charges after he allegedly stole a van and lead police on a high-speed chase through the city that reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
James E. Freeze, 39, of 2734 Cleve Ave., faces one count of receiving stolen property, one count of fleeing and eluding police officers and three other traffic violations, including having no operator’s license. Freeze is expected to appear in court at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Springfield Police Division officers were driving on Cypress Street toward Selma Road about 6:45 p.m. Sunday when they found a light blue van that had allegedly been reported stolen earlier in the day. They followed the van and tried to make a traffic stop by turning on their traffic lights at South York and East Pleasant streets, according to a police report.
The van continued driving on East Pleasant Street and went left of center to pass a vehicle stopped at the intersection at East Street. It then turned onto East Street and didn’t stop at the stop light on Selma Road and continued traveling south at 58 miles per hour, the report says.
The van led police to East Leffel Lane, where it allegedly reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, according to court records. The van eventually reached Laybourne Road, where it went off into a cornfield, came back onto the road and exited onto westbound Interstate 70.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol took over the chase and followed the van to the area of Hampton Road and Lower Valley Pike until it broke down, the report says.
Freeze allegedly told police he purchased the van two months ago with several prescription pills. He also allegedly said he didn’t stop because he was scared and didn’t know the van was stolen, according to court documents.
He allegedly also told police he was recently smoking methamphetamine and that the “voices in his head” told him to run, the police report says.
Freeze also allegedly told police, “send me back to prison, I’ll get out and you will send me back for manslaughter,” according to the police report.
Freeze was arrested and placed in the Clark County Jail.
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