By Rick Palsgrove
It was an eerie sound in the night.
In the early morning hours of May 20, some Groveport residents were roused from their sleep after hearing a voice over a loudspeaker piercing the silence of the night repeating the phrase, “This is the Groveport Police. Please come to the front door with your hands up.”
The voice came from police officers who were dispatched to a house in the 200 block of Main Street on a domestic violence call.
According to Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short, the victim fled the premises to a nearby residence where she called and met the police.
“The victim alleged that, following a heated verbal argument, the male suspect cornered her in a bathroom, grabbed her by the throat, and pushed her against the wall causing her to fall against the wall and strike her head,” said Short. “She was able to leave the residence and call police to a local business.”
Officers observed a visible knot on the victim’s head from where she had been allegedly pushed into the wall.
Short said officers were sent back to the Main Street address when the suspect returned causing the victim to call.
“When officers were sent to meet with the victim at midnight the suspect had left the area in his vehicle,” said Short. “When the suspect later returned, he fled behind the house as officers arrived at the residence. Officers could not tell if he had fled into the neighborhood or into the house, which was locked. Officers searched the vicinity of the home, including Degenhart Park, attempting to locate him.”
Deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisted in searching for the suspect.
“He played cat and mouse with law enforcement,” said Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams.
Short said the suspect was eventually apprehended in South Vienna, Ohio, by local law enforcement.
“His vehicle had broken down in that area and he had called the victim for assistance,” said Short. “The victim gave us this information, which we were able to pass on to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the suspect was picked up at a gas station in that area and taken to the county jail without incident.”
The suspect was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and assault.
“Since he has prior convictions for the same or similar offenses, our domestic violence charge will most likely be enhanced to a felony by the Franklin County Court,” said Short.
Regarding that voice heard over the loudspeaker repeating the phrase, “This is the Groveport Police. Please come to the front door with your hands up,” Short said, “Since the officers did not know if the suspect had fled into the area or into the house, they were using the PA system in the patrol vehicle to order him out of the house. What was heard by local residents was an officer giving repeated orders through the PA since its volume is more likely to be heard inside of the home. It is understandable how our residents would find it eerie or odd since that is, fortunately, not a method we need to regularly use.”