Kent police charge man after stolen tow truck crash

Vehicle struck utility pole and pickup truck in Stow during pursuit

KAITLYN MCGARVEY & JEFF SAUNDERS
Reporters

A 27-year-old man was arraigned Thursday morning on felony charges stemming from allegations that he led police in a pursuit from Kent to Stow in a stolen tow truck before crashing it on Route 59, a little west of the Kent State University Airport late Wednesday afternoon.

Kent Police Capt. James Prusha on Thursday identified the driver of the stolen truck as Kyle F. Jones. According to Kent Municipal Court records, Jones is charged with third-degree felony failure to comply with an order or signal of police and fourth-degree felony receiving stolen property. Kent police said Wednesday that Jones’ driver’s license address lists a Canton residence for him, but court records say he is homeless.

Kent police Lt. Ryan Gaydosh said Wednesday that a traffic stop was initiated at 4:10 p.m. in the area of North Water and Brady streets. Prusha said the stop was initiated after Macedonia police contacted Kent police about a stolen tow truck at the North Mantua Street Sheetz service station.

A vehicle pursuit lasted around six minutes, said Gaydosh, ending in Stow on Kent Road when the stolen vehicle struck a utility pole and a pickup truck. Snavely identified the stolen vehicle as a 2017 Dodge Ram 2500, which according to a receiving stolen property complaint Kent police filed with the court is an approximately $40,000 tow truck.

Snavely said Stow police put out stop sticks to puncture the stolen truck’s tires, but the truck crashed before they were able to do that.

After the crash, Jones ran from the Kent Police Department, which pursued, Stow Police Lt. Heather Prusha said on Wednesday. A Kent K-9 officer arrived at the scene to track the individual but was unsuccessful. Officers later found Jones in the garage of a home in the 3700 block of Kent Road. He was taken into custody by the Kent Police Department.

It took almost one hour to locate him. He was evaluated for injuries by the Kent Fire Department, which determined him to be OK.

No significant damage was caused to the pole, Lt. Prusha said. The driver of the other vehicle, the only occupant, was not transported to a hospital. Snavely said he was unaware of any injuries the other driver may have suffered. Kent Road in the area of Seneca Street and Stillwood Boulevard was shut down for more than an hour.

Police said the stolen truck operated by the suspect was from Interstate Towing in Macedonia. Gaydosh said a driver from the company came out to the scene and stated the truck was stolen sometime between 7 p.m. Tuesday night and 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Macedonia Police Lt. Vince Yakopovich said the truck was reported stolen from Interstate Towing’s facility at 1191 East Highland Road and police received a tip it was at the service station.

Snavely said that Stow police are expected to file traffic citations against Jones. He added that because the garage is attached and the home’s residents were home at the time, Stow police “will likely” at least charge Jones with burglary.

According to court records, Jones is being held in Portage County Jail on a 10 percent of $35,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Judge Kevin T. Poland on Aug. 21 at 8:30 a.m.

An attorney for Jones could not immediately be identified.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at jsaunders@recordpub.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.