Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office report Logan County Jail inmate working a litter detail Monday morning escaped and stole a semi, leading law enforcement on a pursuit into Champaign County that ended in Urbana.
Andrew J. Claybaugh, 35, of Urbana, is now facing charges of escape, a second-degree felony, and grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, related to the incident. He previously was incarcerated on felony drug charges.
About 10:35 a.m. Monday, deputies were informed that Claybaugh had stolen a Shelly Paving Company Peterbuilt semi and taken off from the litter detail area along State Route 47 by the Bellefontaine Municipal Airport, 3100 S.R. 47.
Claybaugh had been working the litter detail with two other inmates, who were supervised by a deputy on site.
Deputies were informed that the defendant reportedly took off with the semi driving eastbound on S.R. 47 toward Bellefontaine.
The original semi operator advised deputies that the semi was equipped with GPS and the company owner was contacted. The owner provided deputies with GPS locations he was able to view from the semi.
Deputies learned from the GPS that the stolen semi was headed westbound on Township Road 200 and the next location tracked was westbound on County Road 43 and southbound on County Road 31.
Logan County deputies were in contact with Champaign County deputies and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers as the pursuit headed toward Champaign County. Deputies were given verbal consent to continue into Champaign County to catch the stolen semi and escaped inmate.
Deputies located the suspect vehicle in the 5700 block of Church Road in Champaign County and activated the cruiser’s emergency lights and audible siren. The defendant reportedly reached speeds in excess of 73 mph in a 55 mph and committed several traffic violations, including several stop sign violations. Claybaugh reportedly operated the semi in the middle of State Route 560, traveling southbound on a double yellow line.
Continuing eastbound onto Millerstown Road, a Champaign County detective was able to throw spike strips and successfully deflate the front passenger tire.
Deputies said the suspect vehicle then entered Urbana on State Route 29 (north Oakland Street) and the defendant was traveling at speeds of 60 mph in a 25 mph zone.
Turning westbound onto State Route 36 (Miami Street) and then left onto south Edgewood Avenue, the front right tire popped off the rim, causing the semi to go off the right side of the road into a yard at the intersection and then the vehicle came to a rest.
Claybaugh was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint and with K9 Thor available in case the defendant ran on foot. Deputies were able to gain control of the suspect’s left arm, but said the suspect initially was non-compliant in giving them his right hand, so K9 Thor engaged Claybaugh on the upper right arm.
Urbana EMS responded to the scene and wrapped the defendant’s arm. He was transported to the Logan County Jail.
The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is handling felony pursuit violations.