We find that Mr. Pack’s actions in fleeing from Det. Shouse and eluding the other three deputies by jumping the guardrail, however brief and futile, constitute sufficient evidence to support his conviction.



State v. Pack

2023 – Ohio – 1522

Twelfth District Appellate Court

Clermont County, Ohio

May 8, 2023

On August 18, 2022, Clermont County Deputy Sheriff Detective Christopher Shouse was investigating recent motorcycle thefts. As Det. Shouse drove past 3188 Goodwin Schoolhouse Road, he observed Mr. Ricky Pack sitting in the driveway with his girlfriend, Amanda Shue make. Mr. Pack was known to Det. Shouse based upon previous contact between the two and was a suspect in the motorcycle thefts Det. Shouse was investigating. Det. Shouse also knew that there were active warrants for appellant’s arrest. Det. Shouse continued past the residence to allow time to call for back-up.

Mr. Ricky Pack was standing outside of 3188 Goodwin Schoolhouse Road in Clermont County, Ohio when he fled from Clermont County Deputies.  His flight was brief and futile but did it rise to Obstructing Official Business?

This guardrail is directly across the street from 3188 Goodwin Schoolhouse Road.  This is likely the guardrail Mr. Pack jumped in a ‘brief and futile’ attempt to flee from the Clermont County Deputies.

Under Arrest and an Epinephrine Dump

Det. Shouse returned to the residence about a half-hour later with three deputies. Det. Shouse parked 15-20 feet away from appellant, exited his vehicle, came to the front of the vehicle, drew his sidearm, and said, “Ricky, sheriff’s office. You’re under arrest.” Det. Shouse’s badge was displayed visibly on his belt. Mr. Pack replied, “Ricky who?” and fled on foot.

Mr. Packran around a minivan parked in the driveway, threw a garbage can down behind him and ran down the driveway toward the road. Three deputies stood in front of him. Deputy Hanson drew his taser and commanded Mr. Pack to stop. Mr. Pack did not obey the command and jumped a guardrail on the side of the road. When Mr. Pack hit the ground, he slipped. Mr. Pack remained on the ground and the deputies took him into custody. The court would later describe Ricky’s flight as ‘brief and futile’.

Ricky has A Series of Remarkable Coincidences

Mr. Pack was charged in municipal court with a single count of obstruction of official business in violation of O.R.C. §2921.31, a second-degree misdemeanor, and resisting arrest. Mr. Pack pled not guilty and the matter proceeded to a bench trial. At trial, the state presented the testimony of Det. Shouse and Hanson. Mr. Pack testified in his own defense. Mr. Pack asserted that he fled after Det. Shouse had exited his vehicle and drew his sidearm because he did not realize Det. Shouse was a police officer. Explaining, Mr. Pack testified that Det. Shouse was in plain clothes and he did not otherwise recognize him, his view of Det. Shouse’s badge was obstructed by Det. Shouse’s vehicle’s door, and he did not hear Det. Shouse announce that he was from the Sheriff’s office. Mr. Pack denied that he threw the trash can down to impede Det. Shouse in chasing him, but rather claimed that he had inadvertently knocked it over as he fled. Mr. Pack also denied that he jumped the guardrail on the side of the road to elude capture by the deputies and instead claimed that he simply could not stop in time to avoid running into the guardrail.  Mr. Pack’s flight was chock full of coincidences.

The municipal court found Mr. Pack guilty as charged of Obstructing Official Business and acquitted him of resisting arrest. The municipal court sentenced Mr. Pack to ninety days in jail with credit for twenty-nine days served.


Mr. Pack appealed his conviction as the prosecution failed to prove he Obstructed Official Business.

Mr. Pack argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient for a reasonable person to conclude that Mr. Pack’s behavior created a “substantial stoppage” which “hampered” or “impeded” law enforcement’s effort to arrest him, and thus there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for obstructing official business.

Mr. Pack was convicted of obstructing official business in violation of O.R.C. 2921.31(A), which provides “No person, without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official’s official capacity, shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official’s lawful duties.”

The state, however, is not required to prove the defendant’s conduct successfully prevented a public official from doing his or her job. State v. Whitt, 1990 WL 82592 (June 18, 1990).

Prosecution Does Not Need to Prove a Substantial Stoppage of the Investigation

This court has held that there is no element in O.R.C. §2921.31(A) requiring the state to prove that the offender’s conduct “prevented” a public official from doing his job. Rather, to “hamper” or “impede,” the conduct at issue must create some “substantial stoppage” of the officer’s progress. This stoppage is not defined by a particular period of time, but it must occur because of the defendant’s act. State v. Grice 2009- Ohio-372 (1st Dist.) Mr. Pack contends that though his act of fleeing may be an “affirmative act” that was done with an intent to “hamper or impede,” it did not result in a “substantial stoppage” of Det. Shouse’s efforts to arrest him. Mr. Pack argues that this is apparent because Det. Shouse did not chase him in earnest, since Mr. Pack was fleeing right into the arms of the three deputies positioned at the end of the driveway. Mr. Pack thus asserts that his behavior resulted in, at most, minor delay, annoyance, and some inconvenience to the deputies.

As opposed to requiring a “substantial stoppage,” we held that conviction of obstructing official business requires proof that the defendant “hampered or impeded the public official’s ability to perform his or her lawful duties.” State v. Ertel 2016-Ohio-2682 There is no finite, definitive, or particular period of time that must elapse for a public official’s lawful duties to have been hampered or impeded. Id. This Court has previously found that “[A] suspect who flees even after committing a minor nonarrestable offense can be convicted of obstructing official business.” State v. Botos 2005 – Ohio – 3504.

We find that Mr. Pack’s actions in fleeing from Det. Shouse and eluding the other three deputies by jumping the guardrail, however brief and futile, constitute sufficient evidence to support his conviction.

Accordingly, appellant’s first assignment of error is overruled.  There was a second appeal that was not evaluated in this article. The Twelfth District Court did not find merit in that appeal as it too was brief and futile.

State v. Pack 2023 – Ohio – 1522 was issued by the Twelfth District Appellate Court on May 8, 2023 and is binding the following Ohio Counties: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Preble and Warren. 

Information for this article was obtained from State v. Pack 2023 – Ohio – 1522.

Lessons Learned:

  1. In this case Mr. Pack’s immediate, intentional and evasive flight rose to the level of Obstructing Official Business. Pack’s argument that he was unaware that Detective Shouse was a law enforcement officer was unbelievable to the court.  How often do two citizens meet and one of the citizens immediately runs from the other?
  2. When a suspect flees from a lawful investigative detention or arrest, the flight of the suspect may rise to Obstructing Official Business. Law enforcement must articulate how the flight impeded the investigation of the crime or arrest.  Though this may appear clear, it is always best to take a few sentences to describe how the flight hampered the investigation.  This is so the prosecutor can tether the flight to the elements of Obstructing Official Business.
  3. Pack’s legal team also made a feeble argument that because Mr. Pack was inept at flight then the elements of Obstructing Official Business were not met because ultimately the deputies arrested him.This argument was as ‘brief and futile’ as Mr. Pack’s flight.  A suspect only needs to hamper the investigation not completely stop the investigation.  There are other cases that underscore this legal analysis.
  4. Clermont County Deputy Sheriff Detective Christopher Shouse and his teammates should be highly commended for their tenacity and capture of Mr. Pack. Well done!

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Robert H. Meader Esq.