Warren PD: Man fled with bag of drugs in mouth, ran into building

The foot chase started with a traffic stop at Elm Road and Franklin Street early Thursday morning

James Earnest, charged with drug possession

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Police arrested a Warren man who they said tried to run from officers with a baggy of crack cocaine in his mouth.

An officer pulled over a car for traffic violations a little after 3:30 a.m. Thursday at Elm Road and Franklin Street.

Police said the passenger, later identified as 47-year-old James Earnest, could not give the officer any form of identification. According to a police report, Earnest seemed confused and mumbled answers to the officer’s questions.

After finally telling the officer his name, police said the officer noticed a baggy of crack cocaine in his mouth. Another officer arrived on scene for back-up and they told Earnest to spit out the bag. Police said he resisted, pushing them away.

They said they pulled Earnest out of the vehicle to try to handcuff him but he ran away, lost his balance and ran into the side of a building.

One of the officers tried tackling him, but flipped over Earnest and landed on his head.

Earnest continued running along Elm Road, but tripped over his feet and fell again. This time, officers were able to handcuff him.

They said he would still not spit out the baggy, which was lodged in the back of his throat at that point.

Earnest even began chewing it before finally spitting it onto the ground, according to the report.

The baggy contained 16 to 17 grams of crack cocaine. Officers also found a glass crack pipe.

Earnest faces felony charges of possession of crack and tampering with evidence, along with obstructing official business and drug paraphernalia charges.

The driver of the vehicle was issued a traffic citation.