PDT Staff Writer
A woman whose vehicle crashed into an ASC bus and into the front of the Fish Bowl bar on Wednesday has been charged with robbery, while the driver of the bus has been transported to a Huntington, West Virginia hospital.
According to records at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Melinda Weddington, 41, of Marmet, West Virginia, whose address is listed as 1302 1/2 Fourth Street in Portsmouth, faces a charge of felony 3 robbery.
Weddington’s vehicle was being chased by Portsmouth police when it slammed into the right front of the bus, then crashed through the front of the bar Tuesday afternoon. At the scene, Police Lieutenant Jerry Leach explained the chain of events.
“It was a shoplifting that turned into a robbery at the Family Dollar Store on 11th Street involving the lady that was driving the station wagon,” Leach said. “She also hit-skipped a vehicle over in front of Portsmouth Building Supply on Gallia Street.”
Detectives reportedly located the vehicle driving in the east end of Portsmouth and gave chase.
“She ran from the detectives when they operated their lights and siren,” Leach said. “She continued to run from them, then she ran into the ASC bus here at Eighth and Campbell.”
According to the arrest report, Weddington entered the store and took items she attempted to conceal. When she was stopped by a store employee, she reportedly tried to leave without paying for the items and bit the employee on the arm, causing injury.
“What we had was a shoplifting incident, and (Weddington) resorted to violence,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said. “She had struck two other cars before we even initiated the pursuit.”
Ware said, because the police were involved in the chase, the Ohio State Highway Patrol filed the report on the incident.
According to the OSHP, the driver of the ASC bus was Dorothy Hammond, 70, of Lucasville, who was subsequently transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital. The passenger in the bus is identified as Robert Blair, 63, of Portsmouth.
According to records at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Department, Weddington had been arrested on disorderly conduct charges by the Shawnee State University police on Monday, and she had then been released on Tuesday morning. Those records also show there may be other charges coming from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The Patrol says Tuesday’s crash is still under investigation.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org