Springfield men accused of fighting with police after woman hit by car

A Springfield woman remained in the hospital Wednesday after she was struck by a vehicle in front of her house and police are still searching for the person who was behind the wheel.

Ariana Whitt, 24, was hit by a car in her front yard about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after an alleged argument about money, police said.

The argument quickly escalated and someone drove over the curb to hit Whitt, said Lynne Rinehart, Whitt’s sister.

“They ran her over,” she said.

Whitt had “visible tire marks” on her body along with “deep abrasions” when she was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, police said.

As of Wednesday afternoon she is listed in serious condition, family said.

Witnesses at the scene told officers there were two women and a man in the car at the time of the attack, said Capt. Lee Graf with the Springfield Police Division.

Detectives are questioning some people of interest that were identified by eye witnesses, Lee said, but no suspects have been named or arrests made.

An officer spotted one of those people of interest, Dion Gatewood, 34, just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, Graf said.

Gatewood and 26-year-old Dexter Moore were standing on the corner of West Pleasant and South Plum streets drinking beer, according to a police report, when the officer noticed them.

Because Moore was a person of interest in the vehicular assault and he was “acting nervous,” police said they went to handcuff Moore.

While the officer attempted to handcuff Gatewood, Moore allegedly charged at him. A physical altercation occurred and Gatewood allegedly pulled a gun from Moore’s pocket and it fell to the ground, Graf said.

The officer released his grip from Gatewood to go after the gun, Graf said.

“The officer used good judgment and composure — there were a lot of points where that situation could have gone wrong,” Graf said. “That’s the scary thing about this job, is you don’t know if someone has a weapon on them or if their intent is to use it against you.”

Both men fled on foot from the officer and are now wanted on multiple warrants, including robbery, felonious assault on a peace officer, weapons under disability and carrying a concealed weapon, according to court records.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts or on the vehicular assault can call Springfield police at 937-324-7685.

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