Bond was set at $100,000 for man who injured police officer in high speed chase

Staff report


Bond was set at $100,000 for the man who crashed into a Liberty police car, injuring an officer during a police pursuit Friday night.

Jerome Prieto, 32, appeared Monday in Niles Municipal Court to face several charges, including improperly handling firearms.

There were two stolen, loaded guns in Prieto’s car, police said.

The pursuit began in Weathersfield when police pulled Prieto over about 7:30 p.m., and he immediately fled. There is no information available on why he was initially pulled over.

Prieto then sped through Liberty and slammed into Liberty officer Chad McGarry’s police car at the intersection of Logan Way Avenue and Tibbetts Wick Road, ejecting the officer from the vehicle.

The car was totaled.

Liberty Police Chief Toby Meloro said McGarry was released from the hospital over the weekend and will be off work while he recovers.

Police apprehended Prieto about 1 a.m. Saturday in Hubbard, Meloro said.

Meloro said Prieto will likely also face vehicular-assault charges once the Ohio State Highway Patrol completes its investigation.

Meloro thanked several police departments – Girard, Youngstown, Vienna, Hubbard, Brookfield, Fowler, Hartford – and the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

“I really want to commend my officers. They wouldn’t give up until they found [Prieto], and I want to thank them for an outstanding job,” he said.

Prieto will appear in court for his preliminary hearing at 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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