Former Meigs deputy prompts pursuit

A former Meigs County sheriff’s deputy led police on a chase after he refused to return equipment to the sheriff’s office, officials said.

Robert P. Tate. Jr., 34, of 109 Pine Drive, Little Hocking, was in the custody of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Friday after surrendering late Friday afternoon.

Tate was recently terminated as a deputy sheriff because he didn’t meet expectations after his probationary period, officials said.

He still had equipment in his possession, including a bullet-proof vest, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said.

Officials from Meigs County were trying to get those items back and filed criminal charges of theft against Tate.

They were in contact with Tate to try to get him to turn that equipment in.

“They arranged to meet at the Cool Spot (in Coolville) today,” Mincks said Friday. “Negotiations broke down. He jumped in his car and took off.”

A high speed chase ensued, Mincks said. At one point, Tate drove his vehicle into a field and then fled on foot.

“We’ve had a manhunt (Friday) afternoon involving Athens, Meigs and Washington counties,” he said.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office secured Tate’s house.

Tate had a cell phone and was contacted by law enforcement and convinced to surrender. He surrendered to Athens County deputies.

Tate was in the Washington County Jail Friday, charged with theft. He was being held without bond.

Officials with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment. A dispatcher who answered the phone at the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office said a press release was pending regarding this matter, but no other information was available Friday evening.