Sword had stopped a Jeep Cherokee at 9:53 p.m. Saturday after the driver ran two stop signs. As he was checking identifications of the driver and a passenger, the passenger stepped out of the vehicle and raised his hands in the air. As he did so, the driver sped off.
The passenger turned out to be no more than an innocent bystander, said Sword, who leaped into pursuit of the Jeep. He said the driver rammed his cruiser a couple of times on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
Sword chased the Jeep west on U.S. 23 and across the Carl Perkins Memorial Bridge, then across the Scioto River Bridge and onto Second Street in Portsmouth.
The driver of the Jeep rammed Sword’s cruiser several times as he attempted to pull him over.
“At one point, I stopped and got out of my cruiser and he rammed me head-on. Then he tried to make a run for it on foot,” Sword said.
The 38-year-old Sword caught him behind the Dairy Bar on Second Street and tackled him.
The man he arrested, Robert Freddie” Holbert, 35, was wanted in Scioto County on felony warrants for probation violations and was considered armed and dangerous, according to police.
Sword was assisted by the Greenup County Sheriff’s Office, Portsmouth Police and the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Sword suffered minor injuries and was treated and released at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky.
His cruiser sustained heavy damage.
“It was our newer cruiser,” Sword said. “Thankfully the older one is running.”
“We got it new in 2008,” said Mayor Cheryl Moore.
She said Sword has been “doing a real good job” since taking over as police chief.
Sword, who hired in a year ago, is the only officer on the South Shore Police Department. The only other member of the force, former chief Jerry Cassidy, joined the Greenup County Sheriff’s Department last fall.
Holbert was in the Scioto County Jail Monday morning on the Ohio charges. He will be extradited to Greenup County to face multiple felony charges resulting from the traffic stop and pursuit, Sword said.
Greenup County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Houston will conduct a full investigation, the sheriff’s department there said.
“Holbert had no regard for the safety or the lives of the public, and jail is exactly where he belongs,” Sword said.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.