September 1, 2014

Elyria
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2 arrested after fleeing deputy, crashing into house

ELYRIA — Two men who led a sheriff’s deputy on a brief high-speed chase before crashing into a home on East Avenue early Friday were nearly shot because they had a loaded gun, police officials say.

DeShawn Martin, 18, of Oberlin, and Tony Carter, 18, of Elyria, were arrested after the incident at 3:30 a.m. Friday.

Martin was charged with felony fleeing, no operator’s license, reckless operation, failure to control, obstructing official business and receiving stolen property, police said. Carter was charged with having weapons under disability, receiving stolen property and felony obstructing official business.

Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Plemons said he saw the pair in a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am without a front license plate at the corner of East Avenue and Fuller Road in Carlisle Township. But as Plemons tried to pull over the car, Martin — whom police say was driving — took off, hitting speeds as high as 75 mph in 35 mph zones, according to a sheriff’s report.

Less than a minute later, Martin tried to turn onto Eighth Street in Elyria and lost control, sending the car sliding through a lawn and into the front porch at 715 East Ave., the report said.

Plemons approached the car with his Taser and gun drawn, but neither Carter nor Martin immediately listened to his commands, the report said. Carter, it turned out, was sitting on a loaded 9mm pistol that was found to have been stolen from a Brighton Township home in 2004, the report said.

The deputy said in the report that he nearly shot the suspects because they continued to move around in the car and drop their hands out of his sight as he waited for backup.

After they were arrested, Martin told police he borrowed the vehicle from Justin Pence, 27, of Elyria, and believed Pence’s brother set him up by putting the gun under the passenger seat, the report said.

Pence — owner of the Pontiac — reported the car stolen about an hour after the crash. He told police that Martin stole the car from his parking lot around 9 p.m. Thursday, but police records show Pence was pulled over for an unrelated traffic infraction around 11:45 p.m. Thursday.

Pence was charged with obstructing official business.

In addition to the charges filed Friday, Martin also was indicted Oct. 11 by a county grand jury for grand theft auto, according to the report. Carter also has other charges pending — he recently was indicted for felonious assault with a gun, the report said.

Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.