ADA — Two Lima men were in jail Thursday after one of them tried to run over a Hardin County deputy during a drug buy the day before.
The deputy was sideswiped by the car and fired his weapon at the car. Neither suspect got away, and both were taken to jail, Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart said.
The incident happened at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Marathon gas station on Main Street at state Route 81 in Ada.
Four undercover officers were conducting a cocaine buy from two men as part of an operation by the Hardin County Crime Task Force. They were preparing to take the two men into custody when the men realized the four men were officers, Everhart said.
“That’s when all hell broke loose,” he said.
One of the suspects jumped in the car to try to get away.
“That’s when my deputy was struck by the vehicle, and he fired upon it,” Everhart said.
The bullet did not hit the suspect inside the car, Everhart said.
The deputy, who is a detective, barely escaped serious injury and possibly being killed, Everhart said.
“He got pinned up between the car and a parking pole. He wasn’t struck directly with the front of the car. It was more of a sideswipe. He’s pretty lucky he wasn’t seriously hurt,” Everhart said.
After hitting the deputy, the man tried to drive out of the parking lot. Officers in marked cruisers blocked the man from leaving the parking lot, he said.
The deputy was taken to the hospital, where he was examined and treated for minor injuries. The deputy will remain on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure any time an officer fires his gun. He will be on leave until the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation completes the investigation, which Everhart said he expects to take a week.
Everhart is not releasing the names of the suspects since charges have not been filed. He said charges will be filed by Tuesday morning, when the men are scheduled to make their first court appearance at a bond hearing in Hardin County Municipal Court.
He also declined to release the name of the deputy since the investigation is ongoing. BCI&I was called in to investigate instead of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office investigating one of its own, Everhart said.