Cocaine and heroin found after high-speed chase that damaged two cruisers on I-77

Posted at 2:57 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 16:57:05-05

A 24-year-old Maple Heights man is facing several charges for a police chase that resulted in multiple collisions and ultimately ended on Interstate 77 Thursday afternoon. 

Michael Hodge is charges with fleeing and eluding, felonious assault on a police officer, obstructing official business, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, possession of a schedule II substance and drug trafficking.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers tried to stop Hodge, who was driving a 2017 Hyundai, around 1:15 p.m. in Akron. The suspect was swerving in a rental car, investigators said.

Hodge refused to pull over and slammed into two state patrol cruisers during a chase that reached speeds around 100 miles per hour.

An officer attempted to stop him with a spike strip, but the suspect drove across the median, which was covered in snow, to avoid the strip. 

Lt. Leo Shirkey said Hodge drove northbound in the southbound lanes twice during the pursuit.

He eventually went back over to the correct side of the highway

At that point, troopers intentionally hit the car,  causing it to spin and crash on I-77 near Brecksville Road in Richfield.

Hodge ran into the woods where he was caught after a short foot chase. 

"We didn't want this guy to get away, but we didn't want to put ourselves in harm's way, or the public," Shirkey said. "After striking another cruiser and driving on the wrong side of the road, we have to take everything into consideration and make that determination to intentionally strike his vehicle to stop him. We were very fortunate that the troopers weren't hurt."

Authorities said Hodge threw ammunition from his car during the chase. Some of the bullets were for an assault-type rifle, Shirkey said.

Troopers found crack cocaine, heroin, narcotic pills and digital scales in the car. 

Hodge is currently being held in the Summit County Jail.