An Ohio teen facing road rage charges bolted from court as a judge sentenced him to jail, and then led police on a high-speed chase that ended with him slamming into a family's SUV, authorities said.
Cyrus Mathews, 19, fled Wednesday after being ordered to spend 60 days behind bars, according to the Wadsworth Police Department. Accompanied by his girlfriend, the young man stomped into the parking lot and got behind the wheel of his car.
Bailiff Sharon Ray chased after the couple, and pleaded with Mathews to go back and apologize to the judge. "You don't want to do this," Ray recounted to The Chronicle-Telegram. "That's a felony escape... I tried talking to the girlfriend and said, 'If you really love him, tell him he's making a poor decision.'"
Instead, Mathews sped off in a 1989 Buick, she said. Police gave chase as Mathews reached speeds of more than 90 mph, authorities said. But he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a SUV carrying a couple and their 10-month-old baby, police said.
The family suffered minor injuries. But Mathews and his girlfriend were trapped in their mangled car and had to be cut out, authorities said. They are hospitalized with serious injuries.
Municipal Judge Stephen McIlvaine said Mathews' misdemeanor road rage charges concerned "very aggressive" behavior during a June traffic incident. Mathews was cut off by another driver and then rammed the other car and ran it off the road, McIlvaine told the newspaper.
"There was a confrontation afterwards and police said [Mathews] was very aggressive. He was acting very inappropriate," the judge said.
In 20 years on the bench, McIlvaine said he's never seen a defendant bolt from the courtroom. There were no officers in the room because Mathews was facing misdemeanor charges and hadn't exhibited violent behavior to the court, he said.
The judge said Mathews' exit wasn't violent, either. He just "fled," McIlvaine said.
After he is released from the hospital, Mathews will begin serving his jail time and could face additional felony charges.
"It's very unfortunate that he made a decision that will permanently impact the rest of his life," said Bailiff Ray.