MIAMI COUNTY — One man is in custody following a chase through the west side of Miami County on Thursday afternoon.
Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said that deputies were advised to be on the lookout for a white pickup truck out of Montgomery County. Family members said the man might be suicidal. Officers were also told that the man, identifed as Kenneth M. Gay, 30, owned a weapon, but it was not known if he had it with him.
Duchak said the vehicle was spotted on State Route 48 near Covington. Deputies and Covington police pulled the vehicle over but the driver then took off heading south on State Route 48.
The chase, which stayed at speeds of 40-50 miles per hour, continued south on State Route 48 to Pleasant Hill then toward West Milton.
Troopers from the Piqua post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol joined the chase with sheriff’s office deputies to corral the driver before he hurt himself, or anyone else.
Stop sticks were deployed at several locations. The driver managed to avoid one set south of Pleasant Hill by driving into a field, then back out.
At one point during the chase, one of the law enforcement units reported seeing the driver wave “what may possibly have been a handgun,” but he emphasized that the driver did not point the weapon or appear to threaten officers. It was also reported that the suspect “had military experience.”
From State Route 48, the chase made its way back toward Troy.
The driver pulled over on State Route 55, just east of Kessler Road about 20 minutes after the chase began.
Deputies ordered Gay out of his truck. He was taken into custody without further incident.
Gay was transported by sheriff’s deputies to Upper Valley Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.
Deputies recovered a Springfield Armory .45 cal handgun in Gay’s vehicle.
As of late afternoon on Thursday, Gay was still at UVMC.
“Our first priority is to get him a mental health evaluation,” Duchak said.
Once the evaluation is complete, Gay will face charges of Inducing Panic and Failure to Comply, plus any other traffic-related violations that may have occurred during the chase.
Duchak commended his deputies, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Covington Police Department, and Miami County Dispatch for their effort in bringing the situation to a safe conclusion
“They all did a good job,” Duchak said.