Last night, Second District officers and an heroic citizen worked together to take four felons off the streets and out of our neighborhoods. In response to reports of strong armed and aggravated robberies occurring primarily in the Ohio City area, we detailed Community Services Unit Officers Vic Nan #2310 and Marty Lentz #1838 to patrol Ohio City in an undercover capacity over the last few nights. On Thursday, November 20, shortly after 10pm, while touring in the area of Fulton and Bridge, officers Nan and Lentz spotted a gold, Dodge Stratus occupied by 4 males. Aware that there have been a rash of Dodge vehicles stolen from around the city they followed the car to investigate. The officers asked dispatchers in our Communications Control Section to check the license plate of the vehicle to determine the vehicle’s status. The dispatcher advised the officers that the vehicle was stolen. Officers Nan and Lentz followed the vehicle while requesting assistance from other police units in the area.
The suspect vehicle fled from the officers but was located, unoccupied, in the 2900 block of Jay Ave by Community Services Unit officers Don Horvat #2491 and Anthony Lyons #1958. Officers Horvat and Lyons were approached by 2 local residents who informed the officers that 4 males fled from the vehicle on foot with 2 running north and 2 running south from the vehicle. Relying on information broadcast by officers Nan, Lentz, Lyons and Horvat, assisting officers Ismael Quintana #2266 and Matt Szucs #1303 spotted the vehicle’s driver and one of the passengers in the area of W.25 St. and Lorain Ave. Officer Quintana immediately took a 15-year old suspect into custody while the second male fled. A foot pursuit ensued with Officer Szucs in close pursuit of the driver who was armed with and carrying a loaded handgun. Seeing the armed suspect approaching him with Officer Szucs in pursuit, a brave valet at Crop Bistro, Joseph J. Bellot, heroically intervened slowing the 17-year old suspect and enabling Officer Szucs to take the felon into custody. Unfortunately, both Officer Szucs and Mr. Bellot were injured while apprehending this suspect. Mr. Bellot was violently struck in the face by the fleeing felon suffering a cut over his eye, swelling to his face and an injury to his knee. Officer Szucs suffered an injury to his hand. We are hopeful that both heal quickly from their injuries.
While the foot pursuit was playing out in Market Square, Officers Joseph Matt #1674 and Jerome Krakowski #585 located the other 2 fleeing suspects in the area of Franklin Ave. and Fulton Rd. Officers Matt and Krakowski quickly captured those males and witnesses were able to positively identify them as fleeing from the stolen vehicle. Both of these males were found to be in possession of suspected narcotics. Further investigation by officers and our Major Crimes detectives revealed that the handgun brandished by the vehicle’s driver was stolen and that one of the suspect’s was arrested only 3 days ago in Lakewood for Breaking and Entering. Disappointingly, this male was the only one that juvenile authorities would not lock up in the Detention Home.
Detectives will analyze evidence and reports to determine if these males are responsible for reported robberies and auto thefts in the Second District and in other parts of the city. As of this writing we believe that we can tie at least one of the suspects to a recent area robbery.
Great job by all involved.