Friday, January 22, 2010

KUDO's Well Deserved!!

Police department and sheriff’s office commended for capture of gunman

POSTED: January 21, 2010

Clair Township trustees commended the St. Clair Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff's Office Tuesday for the Jan. 9 capture of Brandon Evans, 19, of Youngstown.
Evans had threatened a St. Clair Township resident Jan. 9 with what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol. The Maple Street resident called the police department at 10:35 a.m. reporting that a black male was at the residence with a weapon.
St. Clair Police Officer James Briggs previously stated that the resident told the department Evans pointed the gun in his face before leaving the residence and heading toward Dunham Plaza. Both Briggs and Officer Scott Mick located Evans in the Dunham Plaza, but Evans was no longer possessing the weapon.
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office was notified and Deputy Scott Little arrived on the scene with his K9, Christina. Officers were able to locate the gun with Christina's help.
Officers later learned that the gun was actually a Daisy BB gun, "even though it (had) all the appearances of being a real gun," Briggs previously stated.
On Tuesday, Hyatt said he was pleased with how the department and the sheriff's office handled the situation. "Some people say 'that is just a BB gun' but if he had pulled that on me ... instead of people making jokes about that, they should be celebrating the follow-through these guys did. We didn't give up."
Board President James Sabatini said, "When you get reports of someone walking down the road and flashing a pistol in the air, you should make the assumption that it is real."
Hyatt added that until the department actually has a gun in evidence, "we don't know that it's a BB gun." Hyatt also said that the gun did not have the orange cap that most BB guns have which sets them apart from real guns.
Sabatini added that the fact that Evans "ditched" the gun in a nearby area between two structures gave off the impression that the gun was real.
Hyatt pointed out that Evans was from Youngstown, and that the department has been seeing an increase in crime from out-of-the area residents. "That is what we are dealing with. This is a busy place," he said.
Vice-President James Hall said he would like to commend Hyatt and the St. Clair Township police officers for their efforts. Hall added that he was pleased to see how "closely knit" departments are with one another to be able to rely on each other for support.
"We work really well together," Hyatt said.
Hyatt also presented the board with the 2009 annual activity report for the department. "Most everything is up, but nothing unusual," he said.
For the year the department saw a slight increase in assault cases during the month of June. Breaking and entering cases were up in July, and criminal damaging cases were up in June.
The department also saw an increase in domestic violence cases, shoplifting, and theft in May. Shoplifting was also up in December.
The department made a total of 736 arrests during the year, 97 of which occurred in August.
Trustees noted that driving under the influence cases were down for the year. "Some people in the community (see that) as we are not doing our job, but I look at it (as) people are wising up," Hyatt said.
In other business, trustees discussed a nuisance property located at the corner of Rankin Street and state Route 267. "We had asked (Calcutta Fire Chief) Don Vuletic to go over there and look at that. Don got a hold of the property owner and Rich Griffin called me, but basically what he said is they can't go onto his property and say that the furnace is unsafe. But he is going to be meeting with the state inspector and they are going to do a drive-by," Sabatini said.
Sabatini explained that a "drive-by" is when officials drive by the house to inspect a property because they are not legally allowed to inspect the property on foot.
The house has raised some concerns because residents have been dumping items over the back of the hill, and a wood burning stove located on the property could be a potential fire hazard.
"If you look at it, it just doesn't even remotely look safe. We just have to prove that it isn't," Sabatini said.
In other business, the board approved transferring $154.13 from the excise lodging tax fund to the general fund to pay the St. Clair Travel and Tourism Bureau. The board also approved paying bills in the amount of $82,148.42.
The next regular St. Clair Township meeting will take place Feb. 2 at noon in the administration building.

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