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West Liberty, OH

Road race leads to arrest, multiple citations

An early morning drag race on the city’s south side resulted in an arrest and a fistful of citations being issued by the Bellefontaine Police Department early Friday morning.

Steven Cottingham, 24, of 1600 S. Detroit, Apt 13 was arrested and charged with failure to comply  just after 3 a.m. Friday after officers reportedly observed Cottingham and Mark E. Watkins, 501 Gunntown Rd., Apt 89, driving at a high rate of speed while traveling south on Main Street. According to the report, the cars were weaving between lanes, failing to signal and actually accelerated past the patrol car, which clocked the cars travelling at 71 mph. Officers immediately gave pursuit and dispatched another unit to the scene.

 The racers were cornered at Gunntown Road, where both turned east from Main St. Watkins complied with the officers and stopped on Gunntown, while Cottingham reportedly continued to run for a short time, turning off his lights at one point in a futile attempt to elude the officers, before finally yielding.

The failure to comply charge stemmed from Cottingham’s attempt to continue to flee. He also received citations for driving on a temporary permit without a valid driver, DUS/non compliance, speed (71 mph in a 35-mph zone), reckless operation and drag racing.

 Watkins received the same stack of citations as he, too, had no valid driver’s license, and was also issued a warning for fictitious registration. Watkins and passenger in his car were released from the scene to a licensed driver.

Both drivers are scheduled to appear in court next week.

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