By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter
SHELBY- On Friday, April 21, Shelby Police Department responded to a potential stolen car which was suspected to be in the area.
Chief of Shelby Police Lance Combs explained officers were contacted by Columbus Police Department in regards to a stolen vehicle.
“Columbus contacted us and said there was a stolen vehicle and it was possibly enroute to Shelby. Captain (Eric) Rath checked Martin Drive, the last known address of the suspected driver (Ryan Guthrie). The vehicle wasn’t there, so Captain Rath drove around and noticed the vehicle was parked at Taco Bell. Captain Rath did a check on the license plate just to make sure that was the correct vehicle and it was,” Combs stated.
Once Rath determined the vehicle was at Taco Bell, Combs explained Rath thought there wasn’t anyone inside the vehicle.
“Captain Rath thought the vehicle was just parked and then he noticed it started moving. Captain Rath tried to block the driver in and the driver drove around him. At that time, an ambulance was also in the parking lot and blocked the exit onto Mansfield Avenue. Captain Rath did have his overhead lights activated,” Combs stated.
Once Rath was behind the driver, Combs explained Guthrie slammed into the cruiser.
“Once he rammed into the cruiser, he tried to go over the curb and then that led to a flat tire. The driver was taken out of the stolen vehicle and was handcuffed and arrested. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday (April 24) morning,” Combs said.
Guthrie was charged with attempted aggravated vehicular assault, and felonious assault with a deadly weapon, failure to comply (fleeing and eluding), driving under suspension and a seat belt violation. Guthrie was held at the Shelby City Jail on a $10,000 cash bond.
Combs explained the push bumpers on the front of the police cruiser played a crucial role in Guthrie being caught by police.
“About two years ago, we got a used Dodge Charger that already had a push bumper. We had one of our officers transporting a prisoner and they hit a deer. The officer was able to drive the car back and we got it fixed. The technician said the push bumper saved that car, so I knew from then we wanted to have these on our vehicles,” Combs said.
“We ordered bumpers for our two new Ford Explorers and those went into service about a month ago. Officer (David) Barnhart does our equipment installation and they are actually very impressive. From the incident, our vehicle had some chipped paint so it really did save us by having the push bumper,” Combs continued.