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Peru man arrested after police chase

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

A Peru man was arrested Monday evening following a vehicle pursuit with the Peru Police Department.

According to PPD Chief Mike Meeks, Officer Chad Mooney was heading south on Wayne Street around 7:00 p.m. when he observed a van coming toward him in the northbound lane.

Mooney recognized the driver as John Wilson, 52, Peru, as the officer had an interaction with Wilson the day before as a passenger in a different vehicle and he found Wilson to be a habitual traffic violator.

At the time, Mooney reportedly made a U-turn and returned to the intersection of Wayne and Canal streets where Wilson was turning east on Canal Street.

According to Meeks, Mooney followed and observed the van accelerate rapidly and turn north on Benton Street, east on Second Street and south on Wayne Street.

During all three turns, Wilson allegedly failed to use his turn signal which prompted Mooney to activate his lights and siren. In response, the van accelerated away from him resulting in Mooney having to pursue Wilson as he sped through the intersections of Wayne and Canal streets and Wayne and Riverside streets.

At both intersections, Wilson reportedly disregarded stop signs, Meeks said.

During the incident, Mooney was going approximately 40 MPH as he followed Wilson south on Wallace Avenue before Wilson headed west on Graham Avenue. Wilson then turned north on Wilson Avenue, east on Fuller Avenue and back to Wallace Avenue.

Wilson drove this same path twice before he made a wrong turn.

“At some point, then, he turned onto Fuller Avenue which is a dead end street,” Meeks said.

At the end of the street, Wilson stopped the van and Mooney ordered him to get out of the vehicle. Wilson complied and immediately went down on the ground with his arms spread.

By this point, Officer Shawn Swinford had arrived on scene and assisted Mooney in arresting Wilson.

When asked if Wilson had any contraband on him, Wilson reportedly admitted to having “dope” in his pocket, to which the officers retrieved a baggie filled with a green plant-like substance that later field tested positive for marijuana.

The officers also retrieved a a sort of pipe commonly used for smoking methamphetamines and, upon a search of Wilson’s vehicle, officers reportedly found a duffel bag full of items used to make meth.

The items included funnels, tubing, Kroger cold packs, camping fuel, coffee filters, two smoking devices and pseudoephedrine.

Following the vehicle search, the officers read Wilson his Miranda Rights and asked him why he ran away from Mooney.

Wilson reportedly claimed he was scared and also admitted he manufactures meth in his van while on the move.

According to Meeks, officers found a total of 1.5 grams of marijuana and less than one gram of meth.

Wilson was transported to the Miami County Jail where he was booked on charges of level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, level 6 felony possession of meth, two counts of possession of paraphernalia C misdemeanors, possession of marijuana B misdemeanor, habitual traffic violator for life level 5 felony and possession of precursors level 6 felony.

Wilson is being held at the Miami County Jail on a $34,000 bond.