John Muncy Jr., 36, was found guilty by a jury and convicted on charges of felonious assault on a peace officer, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, receiving stolen property, vandalism and obstructing official business.
According to Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn, the charges stem from an incident Jan. 9, when an officer from the Portsmouth Police Department was parked at the intersection of Harding Avenue and Gallia Street in Sciotoville. The officer’s cruiser was equipped with a License Plate Reader (LPR), which alerted that a Ford truck passing by might have been stolen. The officer followed the vehicle while police dispatch confirmed the truck was stolen from Mansfield.
The truck was being driven by Muncy, and the officer stopped his vehicle in the Walmart parking lot in New Boston. Police said Muncy then fled the officer, reportedly driving through oncoming traffic on the parking lot before exiting eastbound onto U.S. 52, where he led the officer in a chase at speeds nearing 90 mph. There were several near misses with moving and parked cars, police reported.
The chase continued to Sciotoville and came to a stop at the intersection of Winchester and Lynn streets, where Muncy put his vehicle into reverse gear and rammed the police cruiser. The chase then continued to Harding Avenue in Sciotoville, where the truck became stuck in a ravine near Harding Elementary School.
Police said Muncy fled on foot and was attempting to steal a bicycle when he was apprehended at gunpoint by Scioto County Sheriff’s Deputies. Kuhn said Muncy bragged to police officers during his apprehension that “it was fun while it lasted.”
The Portsmouth Police Officer, Sgt. Mike Hamilton, was injured during the chase when Muncy’s vehicle rammed the police cruiser. He was taken to Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, and was treated and released.
Kuhn said Muncy told police detectives and the jury he came to Portsmouth to oversee the sale of prescription drugs and firearms for a Columbus man. He said he was told to flee if approached by law enforcement, and said he did not know the truck was stolen.
The Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office presented the case, with evidence at the sentencing that Muncy had 15 prior felony convictions. The jury deliberated for 4 1/2 hours and then found him guilty on five charges. Muncy was found not guilty on the charge of possessing criminal tools.
He was immediately sentenced to 12 1/2 years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections. He is also being held on felony probation violation from Athens County, Ohio, and on an indictment for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and other charges in Knox County.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.