By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Police’s response to a call from a citizen regarding a man in his home who allegedly threatened to “Shoot the house up” lead to the arrest of two suspects for possession of heroin and for the improper handling of a firearm.
The incident occurred on Oct. 26 on Herr Drive. According to the police report, the suspects left the scene and officers caught up with their car and stopped them on State Route 317 and ordered them out of their vehicle at gun point.
According to the police report, the officers allegedly saw a loaded .45 caliber Hi Point rifle in the vehicle. Obetz Police reported the rifle was allegedly stolen from the Herr Drive address, though the suspect said he found the rifle and was returning it. One of the suspects also allegedly had a plastic bag containing 49 grams of heroin in his pants.
“We consider any amount (of heroin) large to the extent of the physical and psychological damage it does to the suspects, their families, the community and the schools, as well as the extensive amount of time to investigate, write reports, transfer the prisoner, weigh the illegal drugs, place the evidence in a secure locker, then the follow up with the legal system, courts and finally adjudication,” said Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier.
Portier said a case like this one is rare in Groveport.
“We may see a weapon involved call four or five times a year, but not a similar situation as this incident,” said Portier. “Have we taken guns off of the street? Yes, but it is not a daily, or weekly event. But consider it only takes one time for someone to be killed or injured, as we saw in September 2015. Heroin is here, but not at the level we see in communities around us. But we cannot close our eyes and wish it wasn’t here. It’s not a growing trend, but not one to be ignored.”
Portier said the community of Groveport itself plays a role in keeping drug and gun issues under control.
“Groveport is small and close knit, and people are actively involved with their families,” said Portier. “I would like to believe that patrol presence, our affiliation with the drug task force, our officers’ ability to recognize drug events and making the arrests is what makes the difference.”
Portier said police visibility is “key component” of crime prevention and deterrence.
“We follow through when we receive complaints about drug deals, drug houses and what some perceive as ‘known dealers’ because of what the media and entertainment industry has exposed to the public,” said Portier. “We take drug offenses seriously, we make the arrests, file the formal charges, but have no control over court decisions. We will continue to be proactive in making every attempt to eradicate drugs in our community.”