Joshua Sparks

Joshua Sparks

Richmond police arrested a man Wednesday morning after officers were informed he possibly had stolen items previously from vehicles.

Officers responded to the 500 block of Eastern Bypass, where the caller pointed out the vehicle Joshua Sparks, 34, of Hurley Shortline Road, Richmond, was in, according to a citation. Officers exited their police car and approached the vehicle.

As officers neared the vehicle, they saw Sparks throw something in the back seat, and the object hit the back glass, making a thud noise, according to the citation.

Police spoke with Sparks, and officers noticed the item thrown in the back seat was a handgun, according to the citation. Officers asked Sparks for his ID, and he reached for the gun. Police told him not to get the gun, and Sparks put the truck in reverse and fled toward PNC Bank.

Sparks then drove through the ditch line, across the bypass, over the median and through the other side of the bypass toward Peddler's Mall, the citation states. Several drivers were forced to slam their brakes.

Officers found the vehicle unoccupied behind Peddler's Mall, the citation states, and several people said they saw Sparks running toward Meadowlark Drive. Richmond police, Madison County deputies, Eastern Kentucky University police and Kentucky State police searched the area.

Eventually, one detective found Sparks on South Second Street and was able to detain him, according to the citation. The detective said Sparks tried to get into his brother's vehicle and leave the scene.

Officers then found a handgun inside the driver's door of the vehicle Sparks tried to enter, according to the citation. Officers also recovered the handgun and two suboxone pills inside the vehicle Sparks originally was inside.

Police took Sparks to the police department to interview him, the citation states. Sparks, a convicted felon, admitted he stole both guns from vehicles. He also said the suboxone was his.

Sparks was taken to the Madison County Detention Center, and officers searched his belongings, according to the citation. Officers found about 2 grams of suspected marijuana inside baggies, a metal pipe and a cut straw with residue inside it.

Due to the search and chase, Eastern Kentucky University was placed on lockdown briefly Wednesday morning.

Sparks is charged with two counts of theft by unlawful taking (firearm), two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, third-degree controlled substance possession (drug unspecified), first-degree fleeing or evading police (motor vehicle), first-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), reckless driving, marijuana possession and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia. He remained in jail Wednesday afternoon, according to online jail records.

Reach Sara Kuhl at 624-6626; follow her on Twitter @saraekuhl.

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