Man arrested for menacing after crash

By Dean Wright -

CLAY TOWNSHIP — A Gallipolis man was arrested Friday on State Route 7 in Clay Township near milepost 19 after reportedly crashing and acting hostile to first responders before dashing off into the woods.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol reports, Darrell Smith, 31, of Gallipolis, was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora. Smith was cited on charges of operating a vehicle while impaired, failure to control, driving with license under suspension, obstructing official business, possession of drugs, not wearing a seat belt, menacing and resisting arrest.

Troopers were dispatched to the crash at roughly 9:30 p.m. Friday. Smith was allegedly not cooperating with first responders and acting belligerent. Reports state he may have brandished a knife to first responders on scene before running into the woods. Troopers continued into the wooded area as Smith had suffered injuries from the crash. Troopers continued to search for Smith as he shouted at them. OSHP reports state Smith allegedly shouted a number of expletives and at one point said, “Fight me” and “I’ll kill 10 of you.”

“We received a call that (Smith) had a knife in the presence of firefighters, and for the safety of the public and himself, we continued to search for him,” Sgt. Jake Schuldt said.

Smith reportedly appeared to approach the troopers before losing his balance and falling into some brush. Smith allegedly continued to be difficult when officers asked him to display his hands. Smith allegedly would not comply before troopers had to grab his arms and struggle before putting him in handcuffs.

Reports state troopers discovered suspected suboxone strips in Smith’s possession. Suboxone is used to treat opiate withdrawal and is prescribed.

Smith suffered no major injuries during the incident.

Menacing is often considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio and can carry a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Under certain circumstances, it can be considered a fourth or fifth-degree felony. If a victim of aggravated menacing is an officer or other such government employee, the punishment can carry about 12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright