Suspect caught hiding in home after police chase in Clermont County

Posted at 3:29 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 01:18:40-05

PIERCE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A Clermont County man took shelter inside a stranger’s house after leading police on a high-speed chase Thursday, authorities said -- and the stranger was home.

The incident started when a trooper tried to stop a speeding vehicle on Ohio 152 in Union Township, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Pierce Township Police Chief Jeff Bachman said the 19-year-old suspect disappeared after crashing his car in a chase that, at one point, reached speeds of 102 mph. Chief Bachman said that his fellow officers arrested another person near the scene of the crash, thinking it was the suspect.

In reality, the suspect was hiding inside Joe Ritter’s home on Dale Road.

“I was a little surprised at first," Ritter said. “Obviously. Who’s not going to be surprised?"

The suspect initially locked himself inside a bedroom, according to Ritter. After Ritter called the police, he came out -- and Ritter said he was surprised by how polite the intruder was.

"He looked like a kid that was really scared, backed into a corner, and he did something really bad," Ritter said.

When police arrived at Ritter’s house, the suspect was waiting for them in the living room.

"I told him basically, ‘Hey, we make mistakes," Ritter said. "'When the cops get here, confess your mistakes, be respectful, tell them the truth. You will get through this, but do not take it farther.'"

Police arrested the suspect without incident, Chief Bachman said.

"Maybe he was tired," he said. "I don’t know."

Police did not release the suspect's name Thursday night.