A man sought in relation to a theft in Union County was apprehended by Champaign County sheriff’s deputies after a series of pursuits that spanned two different days.
Cody Spellman, age 21, eluded deputies Monday night north of Westville, causing an alert to be sent via phone to residents in the area. Because of assistance from residents who helped pinpoint his movement, Spellman was caught.
At 6:42 p.m., deputies on patrol observed the suspect driving a tan 1998 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight. One deputy initiated his overhead lights and attempted a traffic stop on Spellman, who then fled from officers. Another deputy was able to get directly behind the first deputy and was the second car in the vehicle pursuit. Spellman continued onto West State Route 29, where units pursued him to Hanna Road. Spellman continued on Hanna Road before driving straight into a field at the intersection of Hanna and River roads. Spellman continued west through the field and was able to drive back on to Hanna Road where he continued westbound. Deputies lost visual contact with the suspect’s vehicle in the 3600 block of Hanna Road due to them slowing for the hills and curves in the roadway. While searching the area on North State Route 560, the suspect vehicle was found to be unoccupied in the front yard of 2789 N. State Route 560, where Mr. Spellman lost control and had struck a tree. The collision caused significant damage to the vehicle, which eventually caught on fire.
Johnson Saint Paris Fire & EMS responded to the accident and the fire was extinguished. It was also determined that the suspect had apparent injuries from the crash and had fled on foot northbound through the fields. Multiple agencies including the Clark County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office pursued and tracked Spellman for exactly five hours in a search that progressed nearly six miles. Champaign County Wide Communication Center activated the Code Red for the area, which initiated the phone calls to residents in the area. Several calls from citizens were received in reference to the suspect running across properties. These calls from citizens in the area assisted law enforcement. One deputy was treated by JSP EMS for frostbite and released at the scene.
Deputies received a call from a resident located in the area of Lippencott Road referencing someone knocking on their door. Deputies searched the area and discovered an RV parked and shoe impressions leading to the steps of the camper. Upon checking inside, the suspect Spellman was shaking and was unresponsive. The suspect appeared to have injuries to his head and face and his clothing was wet. Deputies covered the suspect in blankets until West Liberty EMS arrived on scene. The suspect was transported to Mercy Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, where he was treated and released and transported to the Tri-County Regional Jail.
Incident began over the weekend
On Saturday, Jan. 9, Champaign County sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Urbana Woodstock Pike in reference to a reckless operation of a vehicle complaint. Deputies were advised at that time the driver of the vehicle was Spellman and he was driving through fields in that area. Deputies were also advised that this subject crashed the vehicle and was consequently out of the car walking on foot in that area. The Champaign County Wide Communication Center advised deputies that this suspect had an active warrant for his arrest out of Union County for failure to appear for a theft offense. Deputies arrived at the location and found the suspect Spellman walking down the road. One deputy attempted to arrest Spellman when the suspect resisted and both fell to the ground. Spellman was able to break free and took off running. The deputy attempted to deploy a taser, which failed to make contact. Spellman jumped over a fence and ran into the woods. Deputies and a State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer attempted to search the area with K-9. At that time, the suspect managed to avoid capture. The deputy was treated and released from Mercy Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained during the altercation.
Spellman is charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest, in addition to the original warrant for failure to appear related to the theft offense in Union County.