CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Circleville police say a Columbus man is facing charges of fleeing and drug possession after he led police on a pursuit before they found drug paraphernalia in his vehicle.  

According to the Circleville Police Department, on Thursday morning, officers were searching for a missing juvenile when they noticed a suspicious vehicle in the Sheetz parking lot. Police say when officers contacted the driver of the vehicle, he refused to identify himself or give any reason for him being there.  

Officers then saw drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, but when they asked the driver to step out, he rolled up the window and drove away from the officers at a high rate of speed, according to police. Officers began pursuing the vehicle and at one point the driver slowed down before accelerating again, striking a police cruiser that had pulled in front of the suspect’s vehicle.  

The suspect then stopped, and when officers approached, he accelerated once again, and struck the same police cruiser a second time.  

Peter Hayes

According to police, the suspect then refused to open the door and exit the vehicle before officers broke the window and removed him by force.  

Police say a .22 caliber handgun was found, along with what was later determined to be 177.5 grams of DMT, 1 gram of methamphetamine and 1 gram of fentanyl.  

The suspect, identified as Peter T. Hayes, 34, of Columbus was found to have multiple warrants for his arrest, including possession of dangerous drugs, failure to appear, and fleeing. 

Officer John Merritt was treated on scene for a possible fentanyl exposure. Sgt. David McIntyre was treated at Berger Hospital for a head injury and released. 

Police charged Hayes with three counts of trafficking in drugs, three counts of possession of drugs, weapons under disability, carrying concealed weapons, improperly handling a weapon in a motor vehicle, two counts of felonious assault, vandalism, and failure to comply.