Columbus man charged after allegedly fleeing from deputies in stolen Meals on Wheels van

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A Columbus man is facing charges after nearly hitting a deputy with a stolen Meals on Wheels van and leading deputies on a high-speed chase in Fayette County.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began when a caller reported a suspicious white, cargo-style van in the rear parking lot of Loves Travel Center at US-35 and Interstate 71 around 8:37am Wednesday. The caller told the sheriff’s office that a man was removing the license plates from the vehicle.  

When deputies arrived, they made contact with the man, identified as 41-year-old Franklin D. Scales. The sheriff’s office said Scales put the van in drive and sped away from the parking lot, nearly hitting one of the responding deputies and clipping a parked semi-truck. The deputies followed Scales as he drove onto Garringer-Edgefield Road, turned east on State Route 435 and entered I-71 south.

The pursuit continued for a short distance before Scales drove the van through the median, making a U-turn onto I-71 north. Scales then exited onto SR-435 and then onto US-35 where deputies and troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol were able to stop the van. Scales was then taken into custody without incident.

Investigators discovered the van was a Meals on Wheels delivery vehicle that had been reported stolen from the Dayton area.

Scales is charged with felonious assault, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, receiving stolen property and driving under suspension. He is being held in the Fayette County Jail pending his appearance in Washington Court House Municipal Court.

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