New information about man who allegedly led police on high speed chase
Donald Roberts (Source: Washington County Sheriff's Office)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We watched in disbelief right along with you Friday evening as a man led police on a two-state, multi-county chase. We are learning more about the man, what it was like for police and why police believe he might have fled in the first place.
The chase began in Clarksville, IN and ended in Louisville, KY. That is where the suspect, 41-year-old Donald Roberts, is behind bars and facing a host of charges.
Roberts appeared in a Jefferson County court on arraignment Monday morning to answer to a slew of charges in connection with a police chase caught on camera on April 27. It began, according to Clarksville police, when officers tried to pull Roberts over for driving a stolen vehicle.
Police say Roberts has an active warrant out of Washington County, Indiana and refused to stop.
"People get desperate," said Major Darrell Rayborn of the Clarksville Police Department. "For some reason, I haven't talked to him. I don't know much about him. He did not want to be stopped. He did not want to go to jail."
The chase wound into Jeffersonville, across the bridge into the Commonwealth where LMPD joined in. Roberts weaved through traffic, at times reaching high speeds, driving through yards and eventually the lawn mower being towed behind the SUV flipped off.
According to police reports, Roberts ran drivers off the road and created a high risk situation for many people. Community safety was paramount in officers' minds.
"You're nervous," Major Rayborn said. "You're really concerned about what's going to happen to pedestrians or other motorists."
At one point, Rayborn told officers to back off and keep a visual on Roberts. Rayborn said AIR 3 helped police watch from the air.
"WAVE 3 was there. Their cameras rolling," said Rayborn. "They watched him through the backyards, through the fence where they lost him a little bit in the trees. But, when he got to the boat ramp, they watched him jump into the river."
Roberts eventually dove into the Ohio River, trying to hide between 2 barges. Authorities physically pulled him from the water.
"He didn't know where he was going," Rayborn said. "I think he just got himself pinned in and had no other way of getting away. "
Major Rayborn said the chase serves as a learning point for their department.
"You learn that you never know what to expect."
Roberts has a criminal history in Clark County and in Washington County, where the warrant Clarksville police were trying to serve originated. Roberts entered a not guilty plea Monday morning. His bond is set at $100,000 full cash.
He faces charges in Jefferson County, KY and Clark County, Indiana. The Clark County charges include resisting law enforcement and reckless driving. There is also a pending case against Roberts in Washington County, Indiana, according to Washington County Prosecuting attorney, Dustin Houchin.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:16 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:16:00 GMT
GOSHEN, KY (WAVE) – 30 teachers were cut from Oldham County Schools. This is just one part of a decision made by the Board of Education in order to cut $3.3-million out of its budget. The school boardMore >>
Thirty teachers were cut from Oldham County Schools. This is just one part of a decision made by the Board of Education in order to cut $3.3-million out of its budget.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:01 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:01:07 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
At least 51 have died in a storm the National Weather Service described as large and violent.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 22:10:07 GMT
FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Maybe you heard of the Kentucky juvenile justice worker who was accused of the rape and sodomy of a boy she was supposed to be counseling. What you didn't hear was that counselorMore >>
At the height of a budget crisis and service cutbacks in state government, a WAVE 3 News investigation found the state regularly pays employees not to work.More >>