A report of a suspicious man has led the arrest of two Ohio County men on theft and fleeing police charges.
According to Ohio County Sheriff Tracy Beatty, on the morning of June 23 at approximately 1:45, deputies received a call of a suspicious male at a residence in the 400 block of Mount Zion Road, about seven miles east of Beaver Dam.
The man was carrying a gas can and asking to come into the caller’s residence. When deputies arrived, the male had left the area.
Beatty said police searched the area and located a white van backed into a driveway off nearby Horton Spur Road. When the vehicle was illuminated by the deputy’s headlights, a male ducked down to avoid being seen, Beatty said, before adding that the driver matched the description of the male seen at the caller’s address. Deputies then spotlighted the vehicle again, with the “driver taking off (and) driving erratically down Horton Spur Road.”
Deputies observed that the driver did not have a seatbelt on, and the vehicle did not have a license plate on the rear. Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled on Horton Spur Road until it came to a dead end at a residence. Deputies then lost contact with the van due to a downed tree in the driveway, as the driver fled on foot.
Deputies searched for the driver without success, but located the van in the back yard of the residence.
At about 4:15 a.m., deputies received similar call about a man knocking on the door of a residence “very forcefully,” according to Beatty.
Deputies responded and located 29-year-old Steven T. Woomer, of Horse Branch, walking down the road near the caller’s address. Woomer was arrested on two unrelated warrants. Upon further investigation, deputies determined the van had been stolen from the Centertown mines earlier in the evening, Beatty said.
At approximately 7:30 a.m., deputies received a call of a male, matching the description of the man driving the stolen van, walking down the railroad tracks at the end of Mount Zion Road.
Deputies made contact with 29-year-old Dylan S. Schroader, of Hartford, and discovered “he was soaking wet and had scratches and scrapes on his arms and legs,” according to Beatty. Schroader admitted to deputies he fled in the van because he thought the man who was with him, Woomer, had stolen gasoline.
Schroader further told deputies that he earlier jumped out of the vehicle as Woomer drove, ran down a tree line, and swam across a lake to evade law enforcement.
Woomer and Schroader were both arrested and lodged into the Ohio County Detention Center.
Schroader was charged with receiving stolen property (under $10,000), reckless driving, third-degree criminal trespassing, two counts of fleeing or evading police (on foot, in a motor vehicle), failure to wear a seat belt, improper registration plate, and no insurance.
Woomer was charged with receiving stolen property (under $10,000), fleeing or evading police (in a motor vehicle), third-degree criminal trespassing, reckless driving, failure to wear a seat belt, and improper Registration Plate.
(Photo l-r: Dylan Schroader, Stephen Woomer)
By Ken Howlett, News Director
Contact Ken at email@example.com