One Williams County sheriff’s deputy narrowly escaped injury while attempting to intercept a vehicle during a high-speed pursuit Sunday afternoon.

At 12:15 p.m., the 911 call center issued a be-on-the-lookout alert from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office for a male suspect who reportedly may have been a threat to himself and others.

County Wildlife Officer Ethan Bingham spotted the suspect’s vehicle on Ohio 107 near Montpelier shortly after the announcement.

“He made eye contact with the driver and the chase was on,” Sheriff Tom Kochert said.

Deputy Tyler Maynard responded and fell in behind the suspect vehicle while Sgt. Zack Erb attempted to cut it off from a side road “but there was no time to deploy spike strips,” Kochert said. “They were going over 100 miles per hour. He (Erb) actually had to go off-road to avoid being hit.

“We terminated the pursuit shortly after that,” Kochert said. “There was just no point to it. The way he was driving, he was going to kill somebody and it made no sense to perpetuate that.

Kochert said last weekend was particularly difficult. “Our guys responded to 55 calls in 48 hours. Not a full moon or anything, no increase in drug activity — people just went wacko.

“Pursuits never end happy,” he said. “So dangerous. Property damage. Vehicle damage. Injuries. Death.

“It usually starts with some low-level offense, like failure to appear,” he said. “Is a night at CCNO (the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio) and a couple minutes in front of a judge really worth killing somebody over? We’ll always do our part but we won’t risk life and limb; not ours, not the public’s.”

The driver remains at large. He was reportedly last seen in Kunkle Monday afternoon and deputies responded to the tip but he left before they arrived.

“We’ll get him when he comes back around,” Kochert said. “Our guys are like beagles in a briar patch.”

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