By GARY POPP
FLOYD COUNTY —
The manhunt for a New Albany man who evaded officers for nearly five hours Tuesday was called off about 3 p.m. while the wanted man remains at large.
Ronald F. Graham, 37, West Market Street, will remain a target for law enforcement, said Floyd County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Jeff Topping, adding that warrants stemming from the incident will be issued for his arrest out of Floyd County.
Graham became a suspect for the agency after a Floyd County Sheriff’s deputy drove into a cemetery in the 6000 block of Grant Line Road about 10 a.m. after noticing a gray Dodge Stratus parked there that appeared to be unoccupied. As the deputy approached the car, Topping said Graham put the vehicle into reverse and made a high-speed getaway.
The pursuit went north on Grant Line Road to St. Joe Road, then weaved through a number of Floyd County roads, ending up in the Starlight area.
The pursuit nearly ended when the vehicle ran off of Atkins Road after going through a 90-degree turn in the roadway and crashing into a nearby wood line.
After the vehicle came to a stop, Graham ran into the wooded area.
At the crash scene, Graham’s girlfriend, a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, suffered an injury to her legs, Topping said, adding that the woman’s identity is not being released and she has not been charged in the incident. Topping said the woman refused hospital treatment, despite significant bruising.
Graham was identified as the driver of the vehicle, after the license plate number showed the vehicle was registered to one of his relatives, and the woman provided his name to police.
During the manhunt, a Jeffersonville Police Department K-9 unit responded, and picked up Graham’s trail, Topping said, but was not able to locate him.
At about 1:15 p.m., a public utility worker saw Graham step out from a wooded area in the 8600 block of Banet Road, Topping said, but officers could not find him.
Graham has two active warrants for his arrest out of Washington County, both of which follow 2010 charges.
In October of that year, he was charged with theft, and in the preceding January he was charged with three counts domestic battery and criminal confinement, as well as single counts of residential entry, battery resulting in bodily injury and habitual offender.
Graham also has a warrant in Floyd County stemming from Sept. 3 charges of possession of methamphetamine and resisting law enforcement.
In August, he was cited for driving with a suspended license.
In early November 2011, Graham was charged with possession of precursors; two counts receiving stolen property; being a habitual offender and habitual substance offender. He was later convicted of one of the receiving stolen property charges, and the other charges were dismissed.
Between 2004 and 2011, Graham accumulated many charges in Floyd County, including residential entry; driving while suspended; no valid motorcycle license; blue light on private vehicle; burglary; possession of methamphetamine; dealing in marijuana; resisting law enforcement; and possession of paraphernalia.
If you know the whereabouts of Graham, contact FCSD at 812-948-5407.