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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Trooper fires at vehicle in turnpike stop; 2 arrested

WAUSEON - An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper fired shots at a sport utility vehicle driver on the Ohio Turnpike in Fulton County yesterday when troopers feared their lives were threatened as they prepared to search the vehicle with a dog trained to find drugs.

Raymond Tillett of the Chicago suburb of Calumet City then drove off, headed west, and troopers pursued, stopping him again about two miles down the road. In the meantime, a package was thrown from the vehicle, according to a report from another driver, and the patrol found what they believe to be that package, patrol Lt. Rick Zwayer said.

Mr. Tillett, 42, was charged with felony possession of marijuana and fleeing and eluding. His passenger, Jonathan Jones, 31, of Chicago, was charged with felony possession of marijuana.

Both were in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio last night. Neither was hit by the shots fired by Trooper Jeffre Dickens, the patrol said.

Troopers from the patrol's Swanton post initially stopped Mr. Tillett about five miles east of the turnpike's Wauseon exit because he was traveling without headlights in a dense fog. During that traffic stop about 10:20 a.m., troopers noticed indications of criminal activity and called for a drug-detecting dog.

It was unclear last night how the troopers felt threatened by Mr. Tillett or Mr. Jones or how many shots Trooper Dickens fired.

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