Westerville News & Public Opinion

Updated 1:35 p.m. Feb. 29

Westerville Central baseball standout facing abduction, drug charges

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A high-profile Westerville Central High School baseball player was arrested last week on felony charges of abduction and drug possession.

According to Gahanna Division of Police reports, Jeremiah M Clarke, 18, of 5548 Genoa Farms Blvd., allegedly locked his juvenile girlfriend in his vehicle and tried to convince her to have sex with him on the night of Feb. 26.

The girl told police the pair were talking in his vehicle at her parents’ home in Gahanna when he locked the doors and drove away. She was not wearing shoes, and conditions were “rainy and cold,” according to police.

According to reports, she told police she manually unlocked the vehicle and exited once, but Clarke followed her in his vehicle, promising to drive her home.

When she returned to the vehicle, Clarke said they were going to have sex “whether I liked it or not,” she told police.

She said Clarke told her she had “made a big mistake by not agreeing to have sex with him in the first place.” She told police he then threatened that he was “not only going to rape me but we were headed to his friend’s house so they could rape me, too.”

She said Clarke told her he would “throw the meat to the dogs.”

Eventually, the girl escaped at a stop sign and began walking away. Clarke reportedly continued following her and eventually asked “if he needed to get a gun out” while reaching under the seat.

She reported that Clarke began threatening to shoot himself if she didn’t get back in the vehicle. When she continued walking, he drove away with her cellphone.

The girl made her way to Coaches, a Gahanna bar at 230 Granville St., where she called her mother, who called police.

“We know this boy, and he is dangerous,” her mother told the operator.

The girl’s mother took her home to meet police and her father. At their home, they said they saw Clarke’s vehicle nearby. Her father told the dispatcher he had “armed himself with a handgun for protection.”

Moments later, officers found Clarke sitting in his vehicle across the street from the house. Officers arrested him at the scene.

Officers said Clarke also had a pill of “acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate,” commonly sold as Vicodin, accounting for the drug charge.

He was transported to the Franklin County Jail.

Clarke was held on a $7,585 bond, which was paid Feb. 26. He has a preliminary hearing with the Franklin County Municipal Court scheduled for March 4.

Clarke’s attorney, Lawrence Levinson of Columbus, declined to comment on the case Monday, Feb. 29.

Westerville Central High School athletics director Andy Ey also declined to comment on the situation Feb. 29.

“I don’t know anything and there’s nothing to really say at this point in time,” he said, noting that information could come later in the week.

Westerville Central’s first baseball game of the season is scheduled for April 4 against Dublin Scioto.

Clarke had committed to play college baseball at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com for updates.