A Portsmouth man is in custody and faces at least five felony charges following a high-speed chase with Portsmouth police Tuesday night that ended when the man drove off a hillside and struck a vacant house.
Damar Arnold, 32, who says he is homeless, is charged with trafficking in drugs and cocaine, carrying a concealed weapon and illegally possessing a weapon, and fleeing police.
According to Capt. Jason B. Hedrick, Portsmouth police officers assigned to a target enforcement detail attempted a traffic stop in the 1700 block of Kendall Avenue just before 7:30 p.m. The blue 2015 Chrysler 200 driven by Arnold stopped momentarily to let a passenger out, then fled the scene.
The vehicle pursuit left the Kendall Heights area onto Pleasant Hill and into New Boston, reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph. According to the police report, during the pursuit, Arnold passed vehicles on the wrong side of the road, and drove the wrong direction on a one-way street.
Police eventually forced Arnold onto Pennsylvania Avenue, where he drove off a hillside and struck a vacant house, ending the chase. Arnold attempted to flee on foot, but was taken into custody.
Police say Arnold had a loaded Glock handgun in his front pocket. In searching the vehicle, police recovered a large plastic bag containing individually wrapped substances, which are suspected to be 4 grams of crack cocaine and 5 grams of methamphetamine. Police say Arnold has numerous felony convictions which prohibit him from possessing a firearm, including an aggravated robbery conviction in June 2005.
Arnold was treated and released at Southern Ohio Medical Center, and was processed into the Scioto County Jail.
The suspected narcotics were sent to BCI&I for identification. This case will be presented to the Scioto County Grand Jury for additional charges.
Portsmouth police were assisted by the New Boston Police Department.