Monday, January 28th, 2008
By Shelley Grieshop
Minster man accused of striking trooper with vehicle and fleeing
  A 38-year-old Minster man faces felony charges for drunk driving, striking a trooper with his car and leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase on Interstate 75 in Shelby County early Saturday morning.
Kurt W. Niekamp, 38, 107 N. Hanover St., is expected to appear in Shelby County Municipal Court today to face felony charges of felonious assault on a police officer and fleeing and eluding, and a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
The Piqua post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported receiving several calls just after midnight Friday concerning a drunk driver traveling in the northbound lane of I-75, north of Dayton. At 12:29 a.m., Trooper Steve Tharp of the Piqua post spotted Niekamp's Oldsmobile Aurora stopped partially in the right lane of the highway; Niekamp was found slumped over the steering wheel.
As Tharp began to walk around the front of the car to the passenger side, Niekamp stepped on the gas and sped away, Weber said. Tharp, who received minor bruises to his shin and foot, broadcast the description of the vehicle on the radio and continued pursuit, which reached speeds of 120 mph.
Tharp was joined by another Piqua post trooper and units from the local Wapakoneta post who caught up with Niekamp minutes later on I-75 in the Botkins area. He refused to exit the car and was removed from the vehicle by the officers, Weber said.
Niekamp refused a Breathalyzer test following his arrest. However, troopers obtained a warrant for a blood test and the results remain pending, according to Weber.
The incident was reportedly captured on video by a camera mounted in the cruiser.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Local experts see financial flucuations impacting area residents
• Local hospital ranks seventh in MRI contest
• Buzz focused on raising funds for area cancer patients
• New Knoxville rolls past the WBL leader
• Celina grapplers take second at River View
a_d
Saturday Night
41°
Chance Rain Showers
39%
Sunday
55°
Rain Showers
88%
Sunday Night
45°
Rain Showers
93%
Monday
50°
Rain Showers Likely
63%
Monday Night
27°
Mostly Cloudy
19%
Tuesday
33°
Mostly Cloudy
12%
Tuesday Night
23°
Partly Cloudy
10%
Wednesday
36°
Mostly Cloudy
18%
Wednesday Night
27°
Chance Snow
33%
Thanksgiving Day
33°
Chance Snow
33%
Thursday Night
19°
Mostly Cloudy
13%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d