The man who led four police departments on a high-speed chase and crashed into three cruisers was sentenced to prison Monday.
William Thomas was already on probation when he refused to be pulled over in traffic and went speeding through Bellaire, ignoring stop signs and one-way streets.
The judge said Bellaire and Martins Ferry Police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department all chased him with lights and sirens, and he only stopped when he crashed, even then, he was spitting at officers.
“One cannot describe in words the danger, putting innocent lives in Belmont and every officer, trooper and deputy involved in trying to get Mr. Thomas to stop. This Dukes of Hazard mentality has consequences,” said Belmont County Common Pleas Judge, Frank Fregiato.
The judge gave him the maximum, three years in prison for failing to comply with the order of a police officer. He read, at length, the list of Thomas’ priors which included aggravated menacing, domestic violence and theft.