Ohio man to face charges leading police on I-77 chase

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — An Ohio man who led police on a two-county pursuit Thursday night will be arrested once he’s released from a Charleston hospital.

Ross Mellinger

George Cherry, 27, of Akron, Ohio, faces charges felony fleeing with reckless indifference and child neglect creating risk of injury.

The pursuit began in Ravenswood when Cherry refused to pull over as part of a traffic stop by police, according to Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger whose deputies got a call from Ravenswood police when Cherry kept going, heading south on Interstate 77.

“We had a convoy of cruisers jumping in with the Ripley PD, the state police, and us at the sheriff’s department and then when it got into Kanawha County, they participated as well,” said Mellinger.

Along the way, two cruisers were wrecked. A Ravenswood cruiser crashed in the pursuit in the Ripley area. A Jackson County Sheriff’s Department cruiser was damaged in a crash which ended the pursuit, Mellinger said.

“Both of the vehicles collided in a brake-check scenario by the suspect vehicle. Our cruiser immediately following ended up rear-ending the suspect vehicle. At that point everybody got out and got everybody into custody,” he said.

According to Mellinger, there were multiple people in Cherry’s vehicle, including a two-year-old child. All were taken to the hospital for observation, but none of the injuries in the incident were serious.

Mellinger said having the toddler in the vehicle during the high speed chase added to the list of charges.

Mellinger said authorities originally had a difficult time securing Cherry’s true identity.