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Braceville police arrest suspect in officer-involved hit and run

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Officers have identified the driver as 33-year-old Joseph Dempsey, Jr.

BRACEVILLE, Ohio (WYTV) – Braceville police have found and arrested the man they say slammed into a police cruiser during a pursuit. He was at his house.

“Definitely somebody was watching out for me,” said Ptlm. James Lampkin.

Lampkin is a little sore today but otherwise walked away from a crash Thursday night without a scratch.

His cruiser was totaled after he says the man he was trying to pull over slammed right into him.

“I did not know how bad it was because the vehicle was still running,” he said.

Joseph Dempsey, Jr.

It all started around 10 p.m. Thursday. Lampkin said he saw a large landscaping truck headed west on Route 5 shoot across five lanes of traffic onto Warren-Ravenna Road, nearly causing an accident.

Lampkin tried pulling the truck over but said it took off, starting a short chase.

“The suspect vehicle slammed on its breaks… the officer around to avoid rear-ending the truck. He got out in front of the truck and started to slow down. He says after that occurred, the suspect vehicle then rear-ended my cruiser,” said Braceville Police Chief Joshua Rudesill.

Police said the truck took off through a yard and the driver eventually got out, elbowed a witness and ran away.

“We found out he has multiple warrants for his arrest,” Rudesill said.

Officers have identified the driver as 33-year-old Joseph Dempsey, Jr. Police said they’ll be filing felony charges against him.

“After looking at the vehicle, I’m thankful that somebody was looking out for me that day. It’s just at the right time, he could have hit me at the right angle and that would have been it,” Lampkin said.

“It’s a little unsettling. I’m just glad my officer is OK and nobody else was hurt,” Rudesill said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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