YOUNGSTOWN Driver gets six-year term on assault, weapon charges

The chase started when someone in Mark Jones' car fired a gun toward police.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 23-year-old Stewart Avenue man who led police on a high-speed chase after trying to ram them with his car is being sent to prison for six years.
Mark A. Jones had pleaded guilty in June to two counts of felonious assault and one count each of failure to comply with a police order and carrying a concealed weapon.
Judge Maureen A. Cronin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced him Tuesday to three years on each felonious assault charge and ordered the terms served consecutively.
She also imposed a one-year sentence for each of the other charges and ordered them to be served concurrently to the felonious assault sentences.
The sentence had been agreed upon by the county prosecutor's office and defense attorney James Denney as part of a plea agreement.
What's behind this
According to court records, police were called to investigate a disturbance outside the Classique Lounge on South Avenue on Dec. 29, 2001. When they arrived, two gunshots were fired toward them from a car that Jones was driving.
Police chased the car until it stopped on a sidewalk at South and Williamson avenues.
As officers were getting out of their cruiser, Jones put his car in reverse and slammed into the police car. One officer narrowly avoided getting his leg crushed in the collision, court records said.
Jones then drove away, leading the officers on a high-speed chase that covered much of the city's South Side, at speeds reaching more than 90 mph. He drove through several red lights and stop signs in the process.
The car finally stopped on West Chalmers Avenue, where Jones got out and ran away. Officers caught him after a brief foot chase.

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