By joe gorman
Police say a man they were chasing on foot on the East Side ran into a busy roadway and jumped onto an unmarked police car.
Leslie Howard, 26, of Youngstown, is in Mahoning County jail after being arrested about 5:50 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area behind 1050 McGuffey Road. He faces charges of trafficking in drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cocaine and obstructing official business.
An officer on patrol tried to pull over a car Howard was a passenger in for making an improper turn on Springdale Avenue. The car’s driver instead turned into a gas station at the corner of McGuffey Road and Albert Street with the cruiser following.
As soon as the car stopped in the parking lot, Howard bolted from the passenger seat and ran, reports said. The officer chased him as he ran on McGuffey into heavy traffic, and he was almost hit by an unmarked police car, reports said.
Howard jumped on the hood of the car and hit the ground when he jumped up. He rolled around and continued running into a wooded area, tossing a bag he was carrying into the grass as he ran, reports said.
When Howard got to the woods he tripped and the officer was able to catch up to him, reports said. When he was searched, police found two bags of suspected marijuana in his pockets, a digital scale and a bag of suspected crack cocaine. Officers picked up the bag he threw away and they found 17 more bags of suspected marijuana inside, reports said.
The car’s driver, who was unnamed in the report, stayed inside the vehicle during the foot chase. Police cited him, however, for failure to reinstate his license.