Man charged after police pursuit

A man with seven prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated was charged with three third-degree felonies, including two related to OVI, after a pursuit in Tiffin Sunday.

Michael E. Stephens, 48, of Tiffin, was charged with failure to comply with an order, OVI-no test and OVI-refusal after allegedly leading a Tiffin Police Department officer on a chase through the north end of Tiffin at 2:43 a.m. Sunday. A fourth third-degree felony charge related to OVI was pending Sunday afternoon.

According to a statement, Officer Jake DeMonte observed a truck traveling on West Davis Street near Short Street and saw several traffic violations, including failure to use a turn signal.

He attempted to stop the vehicle unsuccessfully and was led on a six-minute pursuit in the north end of Tiffin.

The vehicle struck a curb, pole and two street signs, bumped a fire plug, nearly struck countless motor vehicles parked on the roadway, failed to stop at stop signs, traveled through the yards of several residences and nearly wrecked, according to the police department.

“This pursuit caused serious physical harm to property and created a substantial risk of serious harm to persons or property,” according to DeMonte’s report.

The vehicle came to rest at 130 E. Davis St., and Stephens admitted to drinking earlier that night, according to the statement.

Stephens was incarcerated in Seneca County Jail Sunday, and his bond was set at $50,000 cash.

He is to appear in Tiffin Municipal Court this morning.

The three charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, according to Tiffin Police Department.

Stephens’ seven prior OVI convictions occurred in March 1989, April and October 1995, February 2000, September 2002, April 2009 and September 2011, according to the department.