NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) – A suspect is facing charges after a police chase and crash that ended in Trumbull County on Thursday.
Maurice Reginald Matthews, of Cleveland, is now charged with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, obstructing official business, breaking and entering, possession of drugs, driving under suspension, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless operation, following too close, speed, driving on a closed roadway, window tint, obstructed license plates, failure to use a turn signal and driving in marked lanes.
Matthews also had warrants for his arrest on several charges, including aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and larceny, according to the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies with the P.A.C.E. (Portage Aggressive Crime Enforcement) Unit were conducting traffic enforcement on the Ohio Turnpike in Portage County when they saw a vehicle traveling eastbound in Freedom Township with a heavy window tint. According to Portage County Sheriff Bruce Zuchowski, the license plate was also obstructed, and the driver committed multiple traffic violations.
The driver, later identified as Matthews, refused to pull over for a traffic stop and drove away at a high rate of speed, according to the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Zuchowski said the chase continued into Trumbull County at speeds of over 125 miles per hour before the vehicle that the suspect was driving crashed into another car.
The occupant of that vehicle was transported to the hospital and released with minor injuries.
Matthews then got out of the vehicle he had been driving and ran into a wooded area, according to Zuchowski
Several departments searched for him, including the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office and Newton Falls Police Department.
Investigators were able to identify the suspect based on items left in the wrecked vehicle. They later found him hiding in an abandoned garage nearby, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Zuchowski said Matthews has numerous prior convictions including drug trafficking, menacing by stalking and vandalism charges.