ROCK HILL — A police chase that started in Chester County ended in York County after a driver struck a patrol vehicle, plowed through a stop sign and crashed his Geo in the front yard of a Rock Hill home.
Frank Allen Ladson, 24, of 13 Mill St. in Chester, was arrested after the chase Friday afternoon, according to Trent Faris, York County Sheriffs Office spokesperson.
Chester County Sheriffs deputies spotted Ladson after the Chester Police Department issued an advisory for Ladson driving a red Geo. Ladson was wanted in connection with a previous hit-and-run incident in Chester County, Faris said.
Deputies attempted to stop Ladson, but he led them on a chase across the county line before hitting a York County Sheriffs Office vehicle waiting to join the chase, Faris said.
Ladson is charged in Chester County with hit and run and failure to stop for a police officer, Faris said. He also faces charges of failure to stop and assault and battery first-degree in York County, Faris said. The assault and battery charge is for intentionally hitting the sheriffs vehicle, Faris said.
During the chase, Ladson reached speeds of about 60 mph, Faris said. State Highway Patrol officers and Chester deputies pursued him on S.C. 72 and called ahead to alert York County officials that the chase was headed across the county line, he said.
A York County Sheriffs Office patrol car was positioned on the roadside near the Rock Hill Country Club on S.C. 72.
Ladson went off the side of the road and struck the rear of the patrol car, causing minor damage, Faris said.
The officer in that car was not injured, and the vehicle was drivable, Faris said.
Pursued by law enforcement officers from three agencies, Ladson traveled on Ogden Road in Rock Hill city limits before attempting to make a right-hand turn into a residential neighborhood on Godfrey Street, Faris said.
His Geo uprooted and flattened a stop sign on the corner of Godfrey Street and Ogden Road as he made the turn, police said.
The chase ended in the front yard of Thomas and Corrie Colters house at 1043 Ogden Road.
The Colters, retired school teachers, were watching the London Olympics on TV when the car came to an abrupt stop, slamming into a brick wall surrounding plants in front of their house. They estimate $100 worth of damage was done to their house and yard.
First thing we heard was a noise, Thomas Colter said. I guess thats when he hit the stop sign over there. And about that time we heard sirens from the cops. And then there was several sirens. And then was more noise.
We jumped up and ran out; we didnt know what was going on.
Colter said he was worried in light of recent shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a temple in Wisconsin that shooting might start in his own front yard.
So I was a little reluctant about coming out of the house, he said.
When he did step off his porch, Colter found about a dozen police cars surrounding his house and the street corner.
He said he also found Ladson on the ground and his Geo pinned up against the house.
Smoke piped out of the cars hood as a towing company removed the vehicle. Neighbors watched as police gradually left the scene and Ladson was driven off in the back of a York County Sheriffs Office patrol car.
Neighbor Vicky Mitchell said she saw multiple police cars speed past her house. She and other neighbors laughed and said they were surprised to see a Geo was trying to outrun the much faster police vehicles.
The realization of what could have happened changed the mood quickly, though.
The area where Ladson crashed his Geo is across the street from Sunset Park Elementary School. Neighbors say its fortunate there were no children in the neighborhood riding bikes or playing near the street as Ladson tried to elude police.
I know (police) were trying to stop him, Mitchell said. He could have hurt somebody.
Anna Douglas 803-329-4068