Piqua man arrested for OVI hit and run

COVINGTON — A Piqua woman was reportedly struck by a vehicle that fled the scene in Covington at the intersection of Ullery Drive and Chestnut Street on Saturday, July 11, at 2:34 a.m.

Witnesses at the scene reported that they were walking west on Chestnut Street, coming from Endzone Bar and Grill on Richeson Street in Covington, when a red Ford Focus drove up and the driver “started yelling at them,” according Municipal Court records. A witness stated that the vehicle then struck the victim, “dragging her about 20 feet” before driving off.

The vehicle then drove south on Wenrick Street, west on Maple Street, and through the Covington Elementary parking lot and back to Chestnut Street, according to witnesses. The vehicle then reportedly turned east onto Chestnut Street and north onto Richeson Street. Covington police reportedly found the driver-side mirror of the vehicle lying in the middle of the intersection at Chestnut and Wenrick streets.

A witness reportedly identified Joseph R. Johnson, 27, of Piqua as the driver. According to Municipal Court documents, Johnson stated that he was out drinking with his fiance at Endzone in Covington. When he was asked if he had gotten into an accident, Johnson claimed that “someone punched him in the mouth through his car window.” Johnson also reportedly admitted that “he then started to drive off when he struck a female with the vehicle who was in the middle of the street,” according to Municipal Court documents.

Johnson also reportedly said in front of officers that the woman “shouldn’t have been running her mouth at the bar” as well as “she shouldn’t have been in the middle of the road,” according to Municipal Court documents. Johnson also admitted to drinking enough alcohol that he was having a difficult time standing without stumbling.

Johnson was charged with third-degree felony aggravated vehicular assault and fifth-degree felony leaving the scene of an accident in addition to an OVI charge.

A preliminary hearing for Johnson is set for July 23.