Driver Strikes Cruiser

WAPAKONETA — An impaired Wapakoneta man struck the cruiser of a trooper from the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and then attempted to flee the scene.

OSHP Sgt. John Westerfield was on a traffic stop with another vehicle alongside Ohio 501 near between Buckland Holden Road and Ritchie Road at 2:27 a.m. Sunday when a 2002 Ford F-150 being driven by John N. Williams, 27, of Wapakoneta, struck the back of the parked cruiser, pushing it into the 1992 Honda Accord the trooper had stopped on an unrelated matter, according to a release from the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Westerfield and the driver of the Honda, Papi Neguse, 23, of Elida, were in their vehicles when they were struck by the pickup.

Williams then drove into a nearby bean field and then turned back toward Ohio 501 in the direction of the trooper, who had exited his vehicle and was ordering the suspect to stop. As the suspect continued toward the sergeant, Westerfield fired one round toward the oncoming suspect vehicle, OSHP Commander Lt. Scott Carrico said.

Williams then stopped the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot, but was taken into custody by Westerfield.

Williams refused treatment at the scene for injuries he suffered in the crash. Neguse also refused treatment at the scene but reported no injuries.

Westerfield was treated later at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys and released.

Williams was arrested on traffic charges, including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Additional charges are pending review by prosecutors with the Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He was incarcerated in the Auglaize County Jail.