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Chase through St. Clairsville ends with multiple arrests

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — What started as a routine traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase that ended in the city early Monday evening, with several arrested after occupants attempted to flee on foot.

“They were initially stopped for a traffic violation and then it turned into a pursuit,” Officer T.J. Weyand said. “I initiated the stop on I-70 eastbound, and then the driver took off from there, then got off the mall exit.”

He said the pursued vehicle headed into St. Clairsville on U.S. 40. The chase ended on Richland Avenue, where the car apparently gave out.

“They drove the vehicle into a yard, and my cruiser was involved in a small accident,” he said. “It just slid down an embankment into a tree. … Thoburn Church, off 40 – off Main Street – they went into that parking lot and there’s no way out. There’s only one entrance and exit, so they drove over the embankment in the rear of that parking lot, which put them out on Richland Avenue. And as I’m pursuing them, my vehicle just slid into a tree.”

Weyand said he believes the top speed was about 70 mph. There did not seem to be any property damage during the pursuit, other than to his cruiser.

“Three of the four occupants bailed out of the vehicle and took off on foot,” Weyand said. “One remained in the vehicle. Within probably 10 minutes, we had all individuals in custody. They were located in the area on foot. … Once they were spotted, they all were taken into custody without incident.”

Weyand said the driver, Bayne Edward Wuletich, 22, of Akron, Ohio, was wanted on a warrant out of another county for fleeing and eluding.

He said Lynze Grant, 20, of Bridgeport – the registered owner of the vehicle – remained with the car. She was released pending charges.

“There were some drugs and paraphernalia located,” Weyand said.

He said the drugs were found with one of the occupants, Angelo Dayvon Nurse, 18, of Akron, who said he was ill and was transported to a hospital. He also was released, with possible charges pending.

The fourth occupant, a juvenile, was transported to the Sargus Juvenile Detention Center.

“There were four people involved. All will be facing charges,” Weyand said. “We’ll do a report and send it to the prosecutor’s office.”

Weyand is a K-9 officer, but his drug-sniffing dog, Ruger, was not utilized in the chase and arrests.

The Richland Township Police Department and Belmont County sheriff’s deputies assisted.

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