A police officer who pulled over a car Friday for a broken brake light found himself chasing a convicted drug dealer through the woods in south Columbus.
The chase started about 11:30 a.m. near the intersection of Benning Drive and Cusseta Road and ended a few minutes later in the arrest of Albert J. Ford, a Columbus man on probation for a 2008 distribution conviction.
Police said Ford bailed out of the passenger side of the car after it came to a stop and then ran through the woods. He stumbled several times and was detained after a short pursuit.
As the officer was leading him back to the road, Ford allegedly kicked a grocery bag that was lying on the ground. The police officer picked up the bag and found about $2,500 worth of marijuana in it, along with two electronic scales and a box of plastic bags.
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"That ain't mine," Ford told the officer, according to police. Ford, who is unemployed, also was found to have $593 cash.
At a Recorder's Court hearing this morning, the police officer acknowledged he did not see Ford throw the bag to the ground. He also said only partial fingerprints could be lifted from the items inside the bag.
Ford said he ran from the officer because he thought a warrant had been issued for his arrest for a probation violation, but he said he had nothing to do with the drugs. He's charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, obstruction, possession of drug-related items and abandonment of a controlled substance in public.
Judge Michael Joyner seemed skeptical of Ford's contention that he merely tripped over the bag in the woods. He found probable cause on all four charges and bound the case to Superior Court.