Ohio authorities said that they had arrested a truck driver who held a woman hostage and was chased by police on Saturday along Interstate 275.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was alerted by a 911 call that a semi-truck was driving recklessly on Saturday, July 18. Minutes after, the chase began in the eastbound lanes of I-275 in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati police said in their official report that the chase was started from a domestic violence situation, as the hostage is believed to be the driver’s wife.
Hours later, the hostage was freed. Moments later, a SWAT team disabled the truck by firing a 50 caliber rifle at the engine block. The trucker, who was armed with a knife, was disabled with a stun device. The official police report states that the driver was treated for minor wounds after the arrest.
The police chased the truck while suspecting a hostage is being held in the rig. “Our goal is one, get the hostage out. Then we’ll figure out how to resolve the situation,” was the official statement by Police Chief Paul Neudigate.
Neudigate also added that the truck was swerving and repeatedly drove in opposite lanes, “putting numerous people at risk of serious physical harm.” The driver drove straight into police blockades while laying stop sticks, one of which disabled a tire of the vehicle. The driver also continuously backed the truck at the pursuing police vehicles.
The interstate was shut down in both directions because police feared “he would have killed somebody … the way he was recklessly driving a 5,000-10,000-pound vehicle – somebody would have been dead today,” Neudigate added. “I haven’t seen anything like this in 30-plus years of policing, having to stop a semi-tractor on the highway that’s going to kill somebody – that’s a new one for us.”
The trucker, now identified as 40-year-old Patrick Berthelot, faces kidnapping charges. Berthelot appeared before a judge on Monday, July 20. He received a $250,000 bond. He still may face additional charges, as he was involved in a highway chase. Berthelot faces multiple counts of felonious assault charges.
Reported John Bedell covered the whole chase on his Twitter profile. You can see the snapshots below.