PDT Staff Writer
A Portsmouth Police officer acting on drug trafficking intelligence, attempted to stop a Lincoln Mark VII for a traffic violation shortly after 11 a.m. Friday. During a pursuit that lasted approximately one mile, the Lincoln collided with a northbound Nissan Altima at the intersection of 21st Street and Sunrise Avenue, a residential neighborhood in Portsmouth.
The force of the collision caused the Nissan, operated by Deanna Egbert, 34, of Portsmouth, to collide with the pursuing officer’s cruiser. Egbert was treated and released at a local hospital. The officer was not injured.
The driver of the Lincoln has been identified as 35-year-old Robert D. Clarke — who listed a Portsmouth address, but has known ties to Columbus and Detroit. Clarke took off on foot, but was captured in a wooded area behind some houses a short time later.
Police contacted a judge at his home in the afternoon and obtained a search warrant for a motel in town. At that location detectives recovered 30 grams of Heroin from Clarke’s room with a street value of about $4,000. also found were a set of digital scales, a bag of baby formula used in cutting the heroin, and a press used to press the heroin and cutting agent together. Clarke also had $750 in cash on him. Additional charges are Trafficking in Drugs Felony 3, Possession of Drugs Felony 3 and Possessing Criminal Tools Felony 5.
Captain Lynn Brewer said officers also arrested Latasia Harris, age 37, of 1404 12th St., Port Huron, Mich., and she has the same drug charges as Mr. Clarke.
Other charges include felony failure to comply with the signal of a police officer, obstructing official business, falsification and charges related to traffic violations and no operator’s license. He is being held on no bond pending arraignment in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Monday morning.
“We were acting on some drug intel(ligence), and Tommy (Lancaster) initiated a pursuit,” Ware told the Daily Times at the scene of the accident. “It doesn’t appear that there was any wrongdoing on the part of the officer. He had his lights on and his siren on. Right now they are retracing their pursuit steps to see if we can locate any contraband.”
Ware again emphasized the importance of the public “seeing something and saying something.”
“Again, it’s a tip that we were following up on,” Ware said. “Obviously there’s something to it when he decides he’s going to run from us. Obviously we’re limited in resources, and we don’t see it all. We need eyes all over the community, and they relay to us what they see, then that helps us build the cases. It builds the reasonable suspicion, probable cause and it obviously results in arresting people, recovering assets, and getting the drugs off the street.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.