What started with a dispatch to be on the lookout for a stolen vehicle, ended with the arrest of a Kentucky man on several felony charges including possession of a stolen vehicle, drugs, and felony gun charges.
25-year-old Austin T. Gayheart, of Viper, Kentucky, was arrested and charged with the following:
- Possession of Firearm by Serious Violent Felon – Level 4 Felony.
- Possession of Methamphetamine – Level 5 Felony
- Possession of Heroin – Level 5 Felony
- Possession of a Controlled Substance – Level 6 Felony
- Resisting Law Enforcement – Level 6 Felony
- Possession of Stolen Property – Level 6 Felony
- Resisting Law Enforcement – A Misdemeanor
- Possession of Marijuana – B Misdemeanor
Around 7:40 Wednesday morning, Indiana State Police Radio dispatched information on a blue, 2001 Chevrolet Blazer that had just been reported stolen to the Salem Police Department.
The vehicle was reported stolen just minutes before the dispatch and was believed to still be in the area.
A short time later, Trooper Kyle Taylor observed the vehicle headed eastbound on SR56 just east of Salem.
Trooper Taylor attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the driver refused to stop and attempted to flee. Trooper Taylor gave pursuit, following the vehicle as it continued east on SR 56 before turning north on Elk Creek Road.
The pursuit continued on county roads before the driver lost control turning north onto SR39 from Mill Road, driving off the east side of the roadway and into a muddy ditch.
The driver fled on foot before being apprehended by Trooper Taylor.
Once in custody, Gayheart, a convicted felon, was found in possession of a loaded pistol as well as suspected methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.
Trooper Kyle Taylor was assisted by officers from the Salem Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department.
Officer James Moore of the Salem Police Department advised he would also be charging Gayheart with Vehicle Theft and conducting that part of the investigation.