Marshals | Man wanted for hitting Willoughby cop caught

10:58 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Early Monday, members of the U.S. Marshals-led Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Antonio Armstrong, 28, when he was found in the attic of a family member's house in the 3300 block of West 58th Street in Cleveland.

The task force had been looking for Armstrong since Jan. 7 when he led police from several east side suburbs on a high-speed car chase that involved him ramming a police vehicle and driving the wrong way on I-90.

Willoughby Police had originally stopped Armstrong in a hotel parking lot where he had gone to meet a prostitute.

It is alleged that Armstrong provided a false name and, when officers discovered his true identity, he fled, almost running down a police officer.

The chase ended in a fiery car crash in Cleveland, but Armstrong was able to escape into a residential neighborhood.

Armstrong featured as Fugitive of the Week May 28, 2013

At the time he ran, Armstrong had already been wanted by Cuyahoga County authorities for kidnapping, and by several area police departments for various misdemeanor warrants.

The Willoughby incident resulted in additional warrants for felonious assault on a peace officer, felony fleeing and eluding, hit and run, and numerous other offenses.

During the previous six months both the Painesville Division and Cleveland Division of the NOVFTF devoted numerous hours to this investigation, conducting dozens of interviews and searching locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

The task force made this case a priority because of Armstrong's criminal history that included convictions for Drug Trafficking, Felonious Assault, and previous incidents where he fought with police and led police on dangerous pursuits.

When Armstrong was arrested he was found with a female who officers had previously interviewed on several occasions. She is not being identified pending the filing of charges, however officers anticipate charging her with felony obstruction of justice for aiding Armstrong while he was on the run.

Officers also anticipate additional drug charges against her and Armstrong for suspected cocaine and heroin that was found during the arrest.

During the course of the investigation, task force members also arrested Octavia Laster, of Euclid, the mother of two of Armstrong's children, for hindering the investigation and providing false information to investigators.

Laster's case for felony obstruction of justice is pending in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, "His actions when confronted by police clearly showed that he had no regard for the law or the lives of others, and our community is much safer with him behind bars."

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to TIP411 (847411) Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.


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