Iarrusso pleads guilty to high speed chase

DAKOTA C. Iarrusso

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The man accused of leading police on a high speed chase this past Thanksgiving was in court this week before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra, who heard his guilty plea.

Dakota Cenio Iarrusso, 24, of 620 Madison Avenue, McKeesport, Pa., pleaded guilty Monday to failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a felony of the third degree occurring Nov. 26.

His sentence was set for Feb. 19.

The charges stem from an incident in which Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers reportedly attempted to stop Iarrusso on Interstate 70 near Morristown. They had received calls about an erratic driver.

Records state that a high-speed pursuit then ensued, ending with Iarrusso crashing into a Belmont County Sheriff Deputy’s cruiser and rolling his vehicle at the north end of Bellaire. According to law enforcement, he reportedly sped up and fled because his driver’s license was suspended. No illegal items were found in the vehicle.

In other matters, Rachel Leigh Perrelli, 25, of 145 First St., Bridgeport, was sentenced after self-terminating from drug court. She was originally convicted of possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree occurring Aug. 30, 2016. Vavra imposed 13 months of community control sanctions. She will spend 30 days in jail. Vavra noted her pattern of drug and alcohol abuse, but said the law did not permit her to be sent to prison at this time.

Belmont County Public Defender Frank Pierce asked Vavra to consider the progress she had made before backsliding.

Perrelli apologized and asked for a counseling option rather than jail.

“I’m very disappointed in myself. Drug court saved my life,” she said.

Other cases:

∫ Craig Alan Glasser, 38, of 1513 Fernhurst Ave., Coraopolis, Pa., was sentenced for vandalism, a felony of the fifth degree occurring March 9, 2018. He was given two years of community control sanctions. He will serve six months in jail. A violation will result in one year in prison.

∫ Kimberly Dawn Straight of 634 Columbus Ave., Martins Ferry, was arraigned and pleaded innocent to possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. Her pre-trial was set for Feb. 19, with plea agreement March 4 and trial March 14. A recognizance bond was set.

∫ George Spencer Thompson, 30, of 1358 E. 95th St., Cleveland, pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs, a felony of the third degree. His sentence was set for Feb. 19. A pre-sentence investigation and Eastern Ohio Correction Center Evaluation were ordered.