Man indicted after high-speed pursuit

By Glenn Battishill -



A Mount Gilead man was indicted Friday after prosecutors say he led police on a high-speed chase last week.

Austin Dean Schnars, 22, of Mt. Gilead, was indicted by the grand jury and charged with failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony; and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony.

Prosecutors report the charges come after Sunbury police attempted to stop Schnars on April 23 on state Route 3 because the car had no license plate light and was weaving on the roadway. Schnars did not stop, and instead sped up his vehicle and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase from Delaware County to Morrow County, prosecutors reported.

“Speeds during the pursuit exceeded 100 miles per hour,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien Friday. “Schnars did not stop at multiple stop signs, passed vehicles on the wrong side of the road, and disregarded the safety of other motorists as well as the responding officers.”

Prosecutors say Schnars’ vehicle ultimately ran off the road into a cornfield, where Schnars and a passenger fled on foot. Prosecutors said Schnars and the passenger were apprehended shortly thereafter.

“We are thankful no one was seriously hurt during the pursuit and apprehension of Mr. Schnars,” O’Brien said. “This serves as a good reminder that if you are driving and see a law enforcement vehicle with overhead lights on or hear sirens, to pull over as far as you can out of harm’s way, and give the officers plenty of room to do their job.”

An arraignment date for Schnars has not been set in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, but Judge Everett H. Krueger will preside over the case.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the prison term for a third-degree felony charge is between one year and three years in prison, and the prison term for a fourth-degree felony is between six months and 18 months in prison.


By Glenn Battishill

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.