Strange Incident….

A colleague told my husband of this strange story today. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t.

Certainly, none of the media have reported it outside the newspapers in the immediate area. I hope we are not in the same type of prelude summer haze…that preceded the horrific events of September 11.

LISBON – A car loaded with gasoline cans, drug paraphernalia, electronics and schematic drawings shut down a portion of state Route 11 and brought several emergency crews and the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to the area on the nation’s birthday.

Sergiy Matirny, 25, Brooklyn, N.Y., who was born in Ukraine, has been charged with obstructing official business, drug paraphernalia and speeding in relation to the incident, with a potential for more charges to come. He is being held in the county jail.

Before 5 p.m. Sunday Trooper Jason Gorby of the Lisbon Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol pulled over a southbound 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse on state Route 11 just south of state Route 154. Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ron Cox said Gorby had registered the vehicle on his radar unit at 73 miles per hour in a 55- mile-per-hour construction zone.

Matirny, the driver, was uncooperative and refused to exit the vehicle, after which Gorby called for backup and Cox responded, the sergeant explained.

After Matirny exited the vehicle, officials placed him in handcuffs and into the back of a cruiser. They went back to the Eclipse but found it locked, returned to the cruiser and had Matirny unlock the vehicle with a remote unit, but he locked it again – an exchange Cox said happened several times before Matirny stuck the keys down the front of his own pants.

After eventually gaining access to the vehicle, the first drug-related item officials found was a syringe in the pocket of the driver’s side door. After additional searching, they found a suspected crack pipe.

Jesy, a canine officer from Hancock County, W.Va., handled by Sgt. Chuck Stevens, positively identified drugs in the vehicle, and officials likely will be disassembling the vehicle to search for additional anomalies.

Cox noted further investigation of the car’s passenger cab and trunk revealed multiple cans of gasoline, hand-drawn technical drawings, several wires and numerous electrical systems, including global positioning systems, electric thermometers and video cameras recording both in front of and behind the vehicle.

“There were a lot of electronics in the car that we had never seen before,” Cox commented.

Other items listed inside the vehicle included a machete and a BB pistol.

A bomb squad from Youngstown responded based on the gasoline and electronics in the car, but the squad found no signs of the vehicle being wired with explosives. All four lanes of traffic between the Lisbon and West Point exits had been closed for more than two hours during the event, but officials just before 8 p.m. Sunday ordered both northbound lanes and one southbound lane reopened based on the bomb squad’s findings.

Cox noted officials from the FBI and Joint Terror Task Force conducted a roadside interview with Matirny, confirmed his residency in New York City and determined he was not a terrorist.

The vehicle, registered to Matirny and bearing license plates from Atlantic Beach, Fla., is now at the Highway Patrol’s Lisbon post, and Patrol officials are awaiting a court order to disassemble it and search for additional drug-related materials.

“We suspect that there’s something else with the car,” Cox said.

Matirny, who has no criminal record in Ohio, claimed to have been driving from an unspecified location to East Liverpool where he planned to meet someone, although he would not divulge that person’s identity or why he planned to meet that person. He told officials he then planned to go to Pittsburgh and return to New York.

“He wasn’t too forthcoming with information,” Cox noted.

Other emergency agencies that responded to the scene included the county Drug Task Force and Lisbon, West Point, Glenmoor and Highlandtown fire departments.

mschomer@mojonews.com

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One Response

  1. There was a small squib in the local paper here though with none of the details that you had. It is troubling at best – when one considers also that the Afghan air students who went AWOL in the US still have not been found, despite the fact that they have surfaced in Facebook. Taken in isolation, these may mean nothing much. However, it would seem that there is something going on…..particularly as we reach the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

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