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Suspect in bank heist nabbed after high-speed chase

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By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
An Ohio man, who allegedly robbed the Watertown branch of Wilson Bank & Trust on Saturday, Dec. 10, led deputies of the Wilson County Sheriffs Department on a chase that ended on South Hartmann Drive in Lebanon.

Ralph Patrick McMahon, 63, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, reportedly entered the WB&T on the Watertown public square at approximately 10:54 a.m. on Saturday, demanding that the teller fill a backpack with money and then fled the scene.

Sheriffs Deputy Michael Warren intercepted the suspect, who was driving a Ford pickup truck, on Sparta Pike as McMahon was traveling toward Lebanon. Warren said in his report he attempted to pull the suspect over, but McMahon refused.

Warren said the suspect was traveling at speeds near 100 mph as well as forcing other drivers off the roadway.

McMahon then entered Interstate 40 westbound and avoided a spike strip, exiting onto South Hartmann Drive, driving north. Deputy Rusty Johnson, also pursuing McMahon, was given permission to disable the suspects vehicle.

Johnson said he struck the vehicle three times and wound up forcing the pickup truck into the ditch. McMahon then fled the vehicle on foot and was arrested quickly.

A decision had to be made, we had to take him out before he killed somebody, Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe told news media on Saturday.

McMahon was reportedly driving a stolen pickup truck registered in Kentucky and had outstanding warrants in Pennsylvania. He is currently in custody at the Wilson County Jail.

McMahon is facing charges of robbery, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, evading arrest and theft of property.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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