An Ohio man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder after police say the car he was driving veered out of its lane toward an Ogle County deputy and then crashed into a Stephenson County squad car on Nov. 22 during a police deployment to stop a speeder.
Brian K. Taylor, 49, of Massillon, Ohio, was charged Tuesday afternoon by the Ogle County state’s attorney with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery to a police officer, one count of aggravated assault of a police officer, two counts of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, one count of unlawful display of a license plate and one count of Class A speeding 35-plus mph over the speed limit.
“After review of the reports, we believe these are the most appropriate charges,” Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock said. He emphasized that Taylor is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle said in a report his department was advised by Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office that its deputies were pursuing a Mazda MX5 southbound on Illinois Route 26 from Freeport. The pursuit continued south onto Freeport Road.
An Ogle County deputy deployed stop sticks in the area of Freeport and Milledgeville roads in an attempt to flatten the fleeing vehicle’s tires and end the pursuit, the report said.
The report read: “As the driver of the fleeing vehicle approached the Deputy, he veered left in an attempt to strike the Deputy, who was on the shoulder of the opposite lane of traffic. The Deputy was able to move out of the way of the fleeing vehicle.”
The Mazda struck the Stephenson County squad car after it entered the roadway, according to the report.
“It definitely appears to be intentional,” VanVickle said. “He [Taylor] could have gone around the other side, but he chose to go to the side the deputy was on.”
VanVickle said he believed Stephenson County was chasing Taylor for traffic offenses.
Taylor was in court on Nov. 23 for a bond hearing, where bond was set at $500,000, he said.
Taylor is set to appear in Ogle County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.