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Hour-long chase follows death threat

Staff writers

Allegedly violating an order of protection for a second time in six days Sunday, a 43-year-old Marion man is accused of threatening to kill his 44-year-old former girlfriend with a knife.

He then led Marion and Hillsboro police officers and sheriff’s deputy Matt Regier on a nearly hour long foot pursuit through a wooded area near Marion’s city shops before being captured.

The first alleged violation was the evening of Sept. 26. During that incident, Dustin J. Luchi was gone before police arrived at the victim’s residence. Police later found him in a car elsewhere but did not arrest him. He was told there was a protective order and not to return there.

The second incident began when dispatchers received a 911 call at 11:05 p.m. Sunday from a house at 100 W. Jefferson St. in Marion.

No one would speak to dispatchers, but they could hear arguing between a man and a woman in the background.

McCarty investigated, telling dispatchers that Luchi had a knife and was threatening to kill his former girlfriend at that address.

McCarty told dispatchers that Luchi had left the house on foot but that the former girlfriend did not want him to pursue Luchi for fear that Luchi would notice him leaving and come back.

Hillsboro assistant chief Randy Brazil and Regier volunteered to help. While McCarty and Brazil searched around the Jefferson St. residence, Regier went to another residence.

“He ran towards to west, towards his girlfriend’s father’s house there on N. Walnut St., by the city shops,” McCarty radioed to Regier.

Regier drove to the address then excitedly announced: “I’m over here on Walnut. I’ve got him running about two blocks north of this house. He’s running toward the west, back toward the tracks. Somebody wants to set up to the north of the church. He’s somewhere here in these woods.”

McCarty and Brazil arranged for the former girlfriend to go to the relative safety of the sheriff’s office.

“We got her gone finally so we’re heading that way,” McCarty said.

“I also just heard a four-wheeler off to the east,” Regier radioed.

Luchi’s father, Charles, often drives a four-wheeler through the woods.

Charles Luchi did not interfere with police attempting to locate Luchi and may have been trying to help find him, Police Chief Clinton Jeffrey said.

At the time, Regier was uncertain whether the son was being helped to elude police.

“He ran from the east of here across Walnut, and now there’s a four-wheeler driving around to the east,” Regier said. “I don’t know if he’s trying to cut through some woods over there or not. It definitely wasn’t Charles that was running west. So I’m assuming Charles was on the four-wheeler and Dustin just ran west across Walnut into these woods back here. I’m pretty sure he’s over here and we can get him kind of boxed in.”

Brazil positioned himself at the county transfer station; McCarty along 3rd St.

“I’m guessing that his dad was coming over here to pick him up and then he took off running when he saw me,” Regier said. “So his dad either knows or is just driving around looking for him.”

McCarty then discovered the father.

“I’ve got his dad here at the Elgin,” he radioed.

Regier called for off-duty deputy Josh Meliza and his police dog, Karma, to search for Luchi, but dispatchers could not reach Meliza.

Meanwhile, Brazil, who had relocated to west of the city shops, radioed that he heard Luchi moving around in the vicinity.

Moments later, he told McCarty by radio: “I’ve got him over here, Duane.”

McCarty arrested Luchi at 11:50 p.m.

Luchi was booked into jail on suspicion of interference with law enforcement, violation of a protection order, and making a criminal threat toward the victim.

Luchi has a long history with law enforcement. He has been arrested seven times since April 1, 2021. The arrests stem from multiple incidents of suspicion of driving while his license was canceled, suspended, or revoked; distribution of drugs; interference with law enforcement; possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia; and domestic battery.

Seven criminal cases filed from those arrests remain pending.

Luchi remained in jail Tuesday in lieu of posting a $10,000 surety bond.

Last modified Oct. 6, 2022

 

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