John Douglas / The Packet
Late Friday night, Columbus Police Department Investigator Yolanda Adams was in the area of Bell Avenue and 21st Street South while looking for a suspect vehicle involved in an earlier altercation at the Fairgrounds. In a case of “right place, right time,” Adams witnessed an unidentified black male dragging a woman across Bell Avenue, striking her as they went.
Adams activated her takedown lights, startling the man. In the face of authority, the attacker abandoned his target and bolted to a blue 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis that was parked nearby. Fleeing west on Bell Avenue, then north on 19th Street South, the runner sped towards Northside at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
As the Mercury crossed Main Street, Adams lost sight of the vehicle. She was instructed by Sgt. Bill Smith to end the pursuit. Meanwhile, several officers responded to the area of Waterworks Road and 7th Avenue North. in an attempt to intercept the car. By all indications, the car had seemingly vanished into thin air.
Approximately 30 minutes later, an officer spotted a wrecked vehicle at the corner of 19th Street North and 4th Avenue North. A blue Mercury sedan sat on the train tracks, 30 yards north of the intersection. Laying beside the car, they found Antonio Smith, who was identified in short order as the attacker from Bell Avenue.
Smith was covered in blood from a laceration on his head. As he lay on the gravel bed next to the car, Smith wailed in pain and complained of a broken arm. Just below his left elbow, Smith suffered a compound fracture. While medical responders secured him to a backboard, Smith cried, “Aaaaaahh! My arm! Aaaaaahh noooooo!”
Though every move was excruciatingly painful for Smith, responders took every precaution possible to make him comfortable. Unfortunately for the abuser, the ambulance was forced to follow a very bumpy road in order to transport the runner to Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle.
Judging by the scene, during Smith’s flight, he crossed crossed Main Street at more than 100 miles per hour. He tried to slow down at 2nd Avenue North, where tire skids showed that he slammed on his brakes before sliding two blocks. At the corner where 19th Street North. curves into 4th Avenue North, the Mercury hopped the curb, climbed an embankment and hit the first of several rails on the nearby train tracks. After hitting the rail, the car flipped sideways, rolling multiple times before coming to rest right-side-up.
The car was totalled in the accident. Gravel from the railway bed filled the front passenger seat and the previous contents of the vehicle were scattered across the ground. Mixed in among the random music cds and shattered car parts were roughly two dozen “Free Admission” cards to The Pony, an expired condom and a Bible.
At press time, Smith is still in the hospital, recovering from his injuries. Charges are pending following his release.0