Man causes disturbance on I-75

Driver allegedly blocks traffic, struggles with troopers

By Sam Wildow -



PIQUA — An Indiana man reportedly blocked traffic and then struggled with Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers during an incident on Interstate 75 on Wednesday.

The incident took place near the northbound rest area on I-75 near milepost 82 at approximately 10:20 p.m. According to Miami County Municipal Court records, a caller claimed to have detained a commercial vehicle, saying, “God had told him to stop the vehicle,” and also claimed the driver was an undercover trooper.

Troopers did not locate that vehicle, but a few minutes later, there were multiple calls that a driver “was blocking all northbound traffic and was running around on foot” on the interstate. Upon arrival, both lanes of traffic were stopped, with the suspect vehicle reportedly blocking traffic before driving on the shoulder of the interstate.

The trooper made contact with the driver and ordered the driver “multiple times to exit the vehicle or he would be tasered,” according to court records. The trooper and the driver struggled, and the driver struck the trooper in the face at one point. The trooper eventually tasered the driver in the left leg.

A squad responded to the scene and cleared the driver of any medical condition. The trooper attempted to administer a field sobriety test, but the driver was uncooperative.

The reported driver was Eli S. Swartzentruber, 33, of Worthington, Indiana, who was charged with fourth-degree felony assault, second-degree misdemeanor resisting arrest, and OVI in connection with this incident.

Swartzentruber became increasingly violent while being transported to the Miami County Jail Thursday morning at approximately 12:30 a.m. According to court records, Swartzentruber was screaming and singing church hymns while being transported to the jail before assaulting several corrections officers at the jail, including kicking one in the face.

Swartzentruber was arraigned Thursday morning. He is continuing to be held at the Miami County Jail on $45,000 bond. A preliminary hearing for Swartzentruber is scheduled for Dec. 21. A mental health evaluation was also ordered.

In other news:

A local man was charged after he was accused of punching a minor this week.

Darnell D. Hicks, 36, of Piqua, was charged with first-degree misdemeanor child endangering this week and arraigned on the charge on Thursday in Miami County Municipal Court.

According to court records, Hicks is accused of repeatedly punching the 15-year-old victim, including causing an injury.

Hicks denied causing the injury.

Hicks was released from the Miami County Jail after posting surety bond. A hearing for this case is scheduled for Monday.

Driver allegedly blocks traffic, struggles with troopers

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336