Police

BG police & citizen save life of man in cardiac arrest

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Richard Hill, 54, got to thank three people Monday evening for saving his life. Two are Bowling Green police officers, and one is an apartment resident who initially called Hill, a maintenance man, to help with a leaky dishwasher. On June 11, Hill responded to a maintenance call at Danica Motes’ third floor apartment on South Mercer Road in Bowling Green. Though Motes and her husband were new residents to the city, they had met Hill before when they needed help at their apartment. “Rich is always smiling and happy,” Motes said. But on this day, when Motes opened her apartment door, instead of his customary joke, Hill collapsed in the hallway. “For the first few seconds, I was in shock,” Motes recalled. “I thought he was going to make a joke, but he fell over.” Motes called 911 and was instructed by a Wood County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher how to do chest compressions. When Hill started turning blue, she called 911 again and asked them to hurry. Within a couple minutes Bowling Green police officers were at the scene and took over. “After the police came, I fell apart,” Motes said. Sgt. Michael Bengela and Ptl. Ryan Sehlhorst stepped in, with Bengela doing check compressions and Sehlhorst breathing into Hill. “I kept checking his pulse, and he didn’t have one,” Sehlhorst said. Within one to two minutes, BG Fire Division had paramedics at the scene. They worked on Hill at the apartment building and then transported him to St. Luke’s Hospital. “He was never responsive before they took him in the ambulance,” Motes said. Hill’s wife, Cheryl, said her husband had no serious health problems until that day. “It was out of the blue,” she said. “It was a total shock.” Cheryl Hill arrived at St. Luke’s just as her husband was being taken into surgery, where they put in three stents. “They’re saying he should recover completely,” she said. Her husband is home recovering, and is impatient about getting back to work. “He’s one of those people who likes working,” his wife said. “He’s ready to go. This is really difficult.” Cheryl Hill said she and her husband were glad they had an opportunity to thank the two officers plus Motes during the Bowling Green City Council meeting Monday evening. “We were wanting to meet them all,” she said. “We’re…


Second BGSU football player charged with misuse of BGSU debit card

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS BGSU Police have charged Dirion Hutchins, a Bowling Green State University student and member of the football team, with telecommunications fraud, theft and prohibited acts. The three charges are all felonies. The charges are the result of a police investigation that began after the University discovered irregular charges on debit card accounts designated for athletic book scholarships. A second student and member of the football team, Armani Posey, was charged in June. Posey was found guilty of unauthorized use of property, a misdemeanor, in Bowling Green Municipal Court on July 9 and ordered to pay the University $2,000 in restitution. Hutchins and Posey have been removed from the football team. They may also be held accountable under the student code of conduct. The University will be reviewing its procedures and practices for securing and ensuring proper use of BGSU debit cards. Because the investigation by BGSU Police is still ongoing, the University will have no further comment.


National manhunt continues for 2 men charged with rape and kidnapping of BG sisters

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The national manhunt continues for two men wanted for the alleged rape and kidnapping of two sisters, ages 13 and 14, in Bowling Green. Two other men have been apprehended for the crime. Simon Juan Thomas, 24, from Guatemala, was arrested last week in Bowling Green. David Ramos Contreras, 27, from Mexico, was apprehended Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Service, in Lubbock, Texas. The two suspects remaining at large are Juan Garcia Rios Adiel and Arnulfo Ramos. The four men are charged with the rape and kidnapping of the two girls on June 28, according to Bowling Green Police Lt. Dan Mancuso. The sisters were staying at Days Inn, in Bowling Green, with their mother. The address listed for the family is Bowling Green. The four men were also staying at the hotel at the time. Police were notified after the mother took the girls to Wood County Hospital. Thomas was arrested by Bowling Green Police the next day. He was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and is being held in the Wood County jail with a $50,000 bond. Warrants were issued for the other three men. Police received a tip that Contreras was seen at the Walmart in Spring Meadows, in Lucas County, last Saturday, June 30. A store video captured images of Contreras walking with two women. Police were able to locate the women and determined they were not connected to the suspect, Mancuso said. “They believed he needed some assistance,” Mancuso said. “They believed they were doing a good deed helping someone out.” Information was then developed placing Contreras in Lubbock, Texas, after investigators for the U.S. Marshals Service and Bowling Green Police followed leads developed over the last two days. Contreras, who was found hiding under a bed in Lubbock, will be extradited back to Ohio. “He will come back to Wood County to face the charges,” Mancuso said. Nationwide warrants have been issued for the remaining two men at large, and numerous law enforcement agencies, including ICE, are working to find them. The case has received national attention, being posted on CNN news earlier this week. Bowling Green Police Division is receiving calls from across the nation, Mancuso said. “We still are getting numerous tips,” he said this morning. “We’re getting tips from other areas.” Bowling Green police are following up on local leads,…


BG police give update on alleged kidnapping & sexual assault

The Bowling Green Police Division is no longer attempting to identify the two females described in the July 3 press release. They have been identified and have spoken with investigators. The two females are not suspects in any crime related to the current investigation. The Bowling Green Police Division would like to thank all law enforcement personnel, the news media and all concerned citizens in attempting to identify these individuals. Investigators are continuing to follow up on tips received regarding the whereabouts of the three male suspects involved an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault incident that occurred in Bowling Green. The alleged female victims are 13 and 14 years of age. One suspect identified as Simon Juan, DOB 11/5/1993, Guatemala, was arrested for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and transported to the Wood County Justice Center. Three other suspects are also alleged to be involved in the incident. At this time, detectives have identified one suspect as David Ramos Contreras, DOB 12/31/1990, Mexico. The two other suspects identified themselves as Juan Garcia Rios Adiel and Arnulfo Ramos. Adiel possessed a US Permanent Resident ID card out of Fellsmere, Florida, with a listed date of birth as 9/13/98; however, the card was later verified to be fraudulent. Nationwide arrest warrants have been issued for Contreras, Adiel, and Ramos on two counts of kidnapping and rape. Anyone having information related to the whereabouts of the suspects is encouraged to contact the Bowling Green Police Division (419) 352-1131, Wood County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-54-CRIME, or their local law enforcement agency. You may remain anonymous and if information results in the arrest and conviction of a suspect, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1000.    


Safe Communities cautions against drinking & driving over the July 4th holiday

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY This year as we celebrate our country’s birthday, thousands of families take to their cars driving to neighborhood cookouts, family picnics, and other summer festivities. Sadly, some of their Independence Day celebrations will end in tragedy as too many people decide to drink and drive. Unfortunately, their bad choices have lasting effects on families. According to NHTSA, 37,361 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017, and 28 percent (10,497) of those fatalities occurred in a crash during which the driver had a BAC over the legal limit of .08. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. Nighttime is especially dangerous: the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2017 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day. It’s essential that our community members understand the safety and financial risks they take when they drink and drive. Under no circumstance is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so endangers you and everyone on the road with you. Before you head out for your celebrations, make sure you plan a sober way home. Law enforcement in Wood County is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday weekend to put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.


Safe Communities reports on fatal crashes

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County compared to seven last year at this time. This is a decrease of one crash to date. This month Safe Communities is highlighting National Safety Awareness. National Safety Month promotes four key aspects each week, including: emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving. By avoiding distracted driving and focusing on buckling up, you can increase safety on the roadway. Distracted driving is a public issue that affects us all. More than 40,000 people were killed on the nation’s roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. Each death is 100 prevention preventable. Cell phones, dashboard infotainment systems, and evolving voice command features all pose a threat to our safety. Taking just one second of your attention away from the task of driving is all it takes to change a life forever. Additionally, during a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Being thrown from a vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Let’s make this summer a fun and safe one!


Safe belts help protect drivers, passengers in the event of a crash

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2018, the same number as this time last year. During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of your vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives. Though some believe airbags can replace seat belts in the event of an accident, the force of being thrown into a rapidly opening airbag could injure or even kill. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to maximize safety efforts. Your pelvis and rib cage are more able to withstand crash force than other parts of your body, which is why it’s important to secure your seat belt over these areas. If impact should occur, these areas will be able to take more of the pressure from seat belts and airbags to protect the rest of the body. There are several steps you can take to get the best seat belt fit for your safety. When buying a car, test the belts provided to see if they are a good fit for you. You can talk to your car dealer about options for seat belt adjusters and extenders if necessary. For those with older vehicles, your seat belt may be outdated for current standards. Check with the vehicle manufacturer to determine the best option for you.


BG police & fire train on new strategy for school shootings

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Last week while Bowling Green schools were closed for spring break, teams of police officers clad in protective vests and carrying AR-15 air soft training rifles trained in their hallways. By this week, all of the city’s police officers will have gone through rescue task force training. The point of the practice is to prepare police and EMS to work together to get medical help to victims of mass shootings as quickly as possible. “Time is so critical,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. On Friday afternoon, another team of police officers wrapped up their active shooter drill at Crim Elementary School. While they train annually for active shooters, this was the first time that police and firefighters/paramedics trained together. Police trained to go into the “hot zone,” to confront the shooters, and create an area in the nearby “warm zone” for EMS to take care of those injured. “Our entire role in all of this is to train the police officers to make a safe area,” so medical treatment doesn’t have to wait until the entire scene is cleared of risks, Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said. “Our paramedics are escorted in to treat in the building, and not wait for patients to be brought out to us,” Moorman said. “It’s getting our people into the building faster than normal.” The rescue task force responses to mass shootings do not require EMS personnel to carry firearms. “We are the firefighters’ protection for tactical emergency medical services,” explained Bowling Green Police Deputy Chief Justin White as he stood outside Crim Elementary. The rescue task force training included every police officer and firefighter. “All our officers are getting trained this week,” Hetrick said. “Every single one will go through it,” Moorman said. Each of the training sessions was held in Crim Elementary, though Hetrick said his officers are familiar with every school building in the city. The rescue task force training had been months in the making – long before the shooting in Parkland, Florida. But the timing proved perfect with concerns heightened after 17 students and teachers were killed by the Parkland shooter. “Anxiety is through the roof,” Hetrick said in the days following the Florida school shooting. Immediately after the Parkland school shooting, Bowling Green Police Division increased its foot patrols near local schools and drive-throughs of school parking…


BG gathers to discuss how to keep schools safe

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Teachers pleaded to be armed with adequate resources – not guns. Parents asked about mental health care for children. And others debated the value of arming a school for violence, or preventing it before it occurs. Though the last school shooting was far away in Parkland, Florida, the ripple effect is being felt at schools across the nation. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has held eight expulsion hearings in the past week for students who have made threats of violence at school. Some threats were posted on social media, some blurted out in the school hallways, one uttered in anger while playing an Xbox game. “We have to take these seriously,” Scruci said. “I’ve got 3,100 kids I’m responsible for, and close to 400 staff I’m responsible for.” The school safety public forum Thursday evening was held as an open conversation with the community in the atrium of the Wood County District Public Library. The room was packed. The topic was touchy. But the forum was peaceful. “This type of event could happen anywhere,” Scruci said, talking about how schools and churches used to be safe places in the community. To make sure Bowling Green schools are as safe as possible, Scruci said he has been working closely with Police Chief Tony Hetrick and Fire Chief Bill Moorman, both who attended the forum. The district has taken steps such as limiting the times the schools are unlocked, reducing the number of open entrances at the beginning and end of the school day, changing the procedures for evacuating for a non-scheduled fire alarm, reviewing of lockdown plans with staff, talking with evening users of the schools buildings about not blocking open doors, promoting the anonymous tip line, and adopting a zero tolerance policy to threats. Scruci said he has walked the school buildings with emergency responders and State Senator Randy Gardner. “It’s not possible to make schools 100 percent safe,” Scruci said. “They were built at times we didn’t have to worry about these events.” “We all share the same concerns – how to make our schools a safe place,” he said. Hetrick said he has been having daily conversations with Scruci recently about school safety issues. The police have increased their presence at the schools with foot patrols and drive-throughs of the parking lots. “We have stepped that up,” he said. Though…


Drunk man shot after entering wrong home is indicted

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bowling Green Police Division gets multiple calls a year about drunk college students wandering into the wrong homes after a night of drinking. Some are found sleeping on couches by the homeowners the next morning. But in this case, the homeowner was frightened in the middle of the night, was armed with a handgun, and shot the intoxicated intruder three times. Last year, at 1:05 in the morning on Dec. 22, police received a call from a resident in the 100 block of Liberty Street, Bowling Green, who reported two men had broken into his home and he shot to defend himself. Last week, a Wood County Grand Jury indicted Ty Krill, 21, of 610 N. Main St., Bowling Green, for trespassing in a habitation. The other man accompanying Krill on that night, Wade Sutton, 22, of Waterville, was not indicted. According to the police reports, the Liberty Street resident heard a noise at his front door, then at a side window. He grabbed a flashlight and his 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and headed downstairs.  He was headed for his phone in the den, since he only has two land-lines in his home. There, in the living room, he encountered Krill. There are conflicting stories in the police reports about the words exchanged, but the homeowner said the intruder came running at him. The homeowner shot Krill twice in the arm, then once in the lower back when Krill turned. He said he did not shoot at Sutton, who was standing with his arms raised. Both intruders ran from the home. When police arrived, they found blood on the steps by the back door, on the sidewalk and on the lawn. Officers followed the blood trail toward the rear of the property, over a fence and on toward West Evers Street. Police found Krill walking eastbound in the 100 block of West Evers Street near North Main Street. According to the police reports, Krill appeared to be highly intoxicated and his clothes were covered with “a large amount of blood.” Bowling Green Fire Division’s EMS responded and transported Krill to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Hospital medical staff said Krill had been shot three times, with one round striking him in the right elbow area, one hitting…


BG board hears push for arming teachers in schools

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Thoughts are prayers aren’t keeping schools safe – so some citizens suggested Bowling Green City Schools look at arming teachers and posting more police. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Paul Tyson looked out into the audience at teachers who would die for their students. “Why wouldn’t you be ready to fight for them,” he asked. Earlier in the meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci asked those present to take a moment of silence for the victims at Parkland, Florida. “Last week, we were reminded of our vulnerability in the face of evil,” he said. Scruci talked about the need for more mental health resources and stricter gun laws. He mentioned the need for a tip line allowing anonymous reporting of suspected threats. He talked about the “Boot” system which allows every Bowling Green classroom to be locked to intruders. While some schools would have pile up items in front of doors, the “Boot” can secure doors in a matter of seconds, he said. “The reality is every school is vulnerable,” Scruci said. “Like everyone else, I get up in the morning and pray that it doesn’t happen here.” Tyson, an off-duty Bowling Green police officer, suggested that the district needs an “armed presence” through part-time police or military, and training of teachers so they could carry firearms in school. Then, the district should put a big sign out front of the schools stating that the building is defended by firearms – discouraging any potential shooters, he said. “We will take your comments under advisement,” School Board President Jill Carr said. “I do believe you have plenty of people in town who will help you with this,” Tyson said. Jaime Baranski agreed with Tyson, saying shooters won’t attempt violence at a school that is well defended. “They’re there to shoot fish in a barrel,” Baranski said. “If there’s a patrol car outside, they’re not going to come to this building.” If the district can’t afford armed protection, Baranski suggested that parents could donate to help secure police assistance or someone like himself with a concealed carry permit. As far as threats on social media, Baranski said tougher consequences are the answer. “You threaten a school, it’s jail time – automatic six years.” Richard Chamberlain said when he went to the high school in 1977, guns weren’t an issue. “My pickup used to sit out there…


Firefighter and wife save man from jumping off overpass

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   An off-duty Bowling Green firefighter and his wife stopped a man from jumping off the East Wooster overpass at Interstate 75 late Saturday night. Steve and Dawn Tyda were on their way home from Columbus on Saturday, when they pulled off I-75 around 11 p.m. They saw a man standing on the overpass, facing the highway. Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said Steve Tyda turned around and went back to the overpass and pulled up next to the man. Dawn Tyda asked the man if he was OK. “He said, ‘I’ll be OK in about four seconds when I jump,’” Moorman said. Dawn Tyda offered to talk or pray with the man, who turned back to the highway and leaned over the side. Meanwhile Steve Tyda came up behind the man and tackled him to keep him from going over onto I-75 below. Tyda held him down until police arrived. The man, a 49 year old Bowling Green resident, was taken to Wood County Hospital where he was checked out by Behavioral Connections. He was transported to Flower Hospital in Sylvania for evaluation. The man told police he had recently been suicidal. In the previous few days, he said he had attempted to hang himself, tried to sleep with a bag on his head, drank rust remover and stabbed himself in the stomach with a small paring knife. “If he went through with it and jumped, it would affect so many people,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. Last year a man did jump off the I-75 overpass, resulting in several vehicles hitting him on the roadway. “It was an absolutely horrific sight,” said Moorman, who helped distraught drivers who couldn’t avoid hitting the man who jumped. Moorman praised Tyda for helping the suicidal man on Saturday night. “It was somewhat heroic, with complete disregard for his own safety,” Moorman said.


BG district scrutinizes safety after Parkland shooting

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In response to growing violence at schools across the nation, Bowling Green City Schools had each classroom equipped with a “Boot” last year. The “Boot” was created by Rob Couturier, of Michigan, after his daughter was the victim of a violent attack. The “Boot,” is a rectangular-shaped plate of quarter-inch thick industrial steel. Secured by two steel pegs, the plate can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure and keep doors closed to intruders. The safety mechanism has been installed in more than 100 public schools and 18 private schools in the region. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci rests a little easier knowing every classroom in the district has a mechanism to keep an intruder out and keep the students safe inside. However, Scruci also realizes nothing is completely safe. “Anytime we’re talking about student safety, there is always more you can do,” Scruci said Thursday, the day after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed at 17. “We want to make sure kids are safe. But we can’t with 100 percent certainty,” he said. “We don’t have the resources to make them as safe as possible.” But in the case of the Parkland shooter, who reportedly went door to door to classrooms, the “Boot” would keep him from entering rooms. “That’s the beauty of the ‘Boot.’ He’s not getting in there,” Scruci said. In addition to the “Boot” on classroom doors, the Bowling Green school district also relies on students and staff to point out troubled students, hold training drills at the school, and work with local police on responding to threats. By law, every school must hold a lockdown drill at least once a year. “We just had a meeting and discussed that we need to do it more often,” Scruci said. “We don’t ever want to think this is a new normal, but we want people to be prepared.” Of course, the school district can’t prepare for every possibility, he said. The accused shooter in the Florida school pulled a fire alarm first, reportedly to have easier access to students leaving their classrooms. “Regardless of how many times we practice, you don’t know what to prepare for,” Scruci said. “We could prepare for 100 scenarios, and there would still be another 100 other scenarios we didn’t think of.” The school staff is also trained in ALICE, which urges people to…


BGSU named one of top 100 safest campuses

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University is ranked 32nd on the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America, and one of only two universities in Ohio ranked in the top 100. The ranking was created using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. The top-ranked colleges boast safe campuses with little or no crime and low overall crime rates (off campus). “We are pleased to again be recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country,” Interim President Rodney Rogers said. “This is a great reflection of the living and learning environment at BGSU and the quality of life in the city of Bowling Green.” Individuals can support this effort by being aware of their surroundings, by reporting criminal or suspicious activity and by getting involved in University-sponsored crime prevention programs. The BGSU Department of Public Safety provides around-the-clock protection and sponsors many crime prevention programs. The Campus Escort Service, University Shuttle, sophisticated outdoor lighting system and outdoor emergency telephones combine to provide a campus environment that feels safe and secure. For information about crime prevention, policies for reporting crime on campus and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period, see the BGSU Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. Four-year institutions with enrollment of 10,000 or more were accessed to compile the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America. Alarms.org created the list after finding that campus safety contributed to anxiety about college.


BG eyes 2018 goals – neighborhoods, food trucks, downtown cameras and more

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neighborhood revitalization, food trucks, more cameras in the downtown bar district, and code enforcement by police made the list of 2018 goals for Bowling Green city officials. City department heads listed their top priorities for the year during a work session held Saturday morning for city council. Mayor Dick Edwards set the tone. “This is going to be a very ambitious year, and if we think otherwise, we’ll get smacked right in the face with it,” Edwards said. The mayor repeated some of the projects he mentioned at last week’s council meeting, including progress on Wooster Green, East Wooster corridor, and new City Park building. Unlike those highly visible projects, the city will also be updating its charter – making sure the effort is “citizen-driven,” Edwards said. And efforts will be made to define the city’s goal of being a “welcoming community.” The mayor talked about the city’s goal to become more diversified industrially. Sue Clark, the city’s economic development director, has reported increased interest in the city. “The phone has been ringing off the wall,” Edwards said. “It spells a very promising picture for 2018,” Edwards said, noting the importance of economic growth to city services. Edwards revisited a topic that consumed much of last year – the Nexus pipeline.  “That was gut-wrenching at times for all of us. That’s going to be a special challenge for us in 2018,” he said. City officials still have not been given a timeline for the pipeline construction. Concerns continue, the mayor said, about state legislation that could have negative effects on municipalities. Edwards has talked with State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green, about the state’s plans for 2018. “They keep talking in very positive terms about supporting local government,” Edwards said about state officials. “All the words coming out of Columbus are encouraging, but the proof is in the pudding.” The mayor also took time to try resurrecting the city historic preservation effort that was started and then dropped. “I would at least like to get something before you that you can address,” he said to council. Cities like Toledo are taking advantage of tax credits to revitalize downtown historic areas. Bowling Green could do the same, Edwards said. “Other communities have really been benefitting from this,” he said. Each of the city’s department heads also listed…