By Rick Palsgrove
A Groveport Madison High School student, who was suspected in a robbery in Columbus, was found to be in possession of a gun at the school on Oct. 24.
According to Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short, the suspect is a 16-year-old male student.
The robbery occurred in the Independence Village area of Columbus.
Short said the suspect was in possession of a loaded Glock 19 – 9mm handgun at the school.
“The suspect was charged with illegal weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone, a fifth degree felony, and he was transported to Franklin County Juvenile Detention,” said Short.
According to Short the gun was discovered after the suspect was brought in to the security office at Groveport Madison High School due to anonymous tips that he may have been involved in a shooting and/or robbery in Columbus and that he may have a gun in his possession.
“The gun was found, by school security personnel, in a small bag that the suspect was wearing,” said Short. “There were no threats to the school, staff, or students at any time.”
When asked how frequently guns or other weapons are found on students at the high school and why students are arming themselves, Short said, “This is the first gun taken from a student this school year. In the 2022 portion of last school year there was one real gun and three items indistinguishable from a firearm taken from students. I will not speculate on the ‘whys’ of students bringing guns to school, although the most common reason given is personal protection or they forgot they had it. Nevertheless, there is no good or allowable reason for any student to bring a gun into a school anywhere.”
Stolen generator and suspect
crashes vehicle into a house
According to the Groveport Police, suspects allegedly stole a gas powered generator, valued at about $1,300 and owned by the Oscar W. Larson Company, from the Certified gas station on Groveport’s Main Street on Oct. 19. A Oscar W. Larson Company employee was using the generator while doing work at the Certified station that day.
According to statements obtained by the Groveport Police, a female suspect exited a car, grabbed the generator, then got back into the vehicle with it and the suspects drove off.
Short said the alleged suspects are Joseph Dodson and Samantha Cumbow who gave their address as a residence in Groveport, although he said further investigation indicates that they do not reside at that address and are more or less transient.
After allegedly taking the generator, the suspects crashed their 2000 Chevy Blazer, registered to the driver, Joseph Dodson, into a house on the northeast corner of Main and Center streets.
“According to statements, Dodson was operating the vehicle at a high rate of speed on Main Street and failed to control his left turn onto Center Street going off of the road to the right and striking the side of the house,” said Short.
Short said Dodson was cited for operating a vehicle without reasonable control and driving under suspension. Both suspects will have a theft case presented to the Franklin County Grand Jury for review.
There were no injuries sustained during this incident, according to Short.
Burglary at Groveport golf course
According to the Groveport Police, around 3 a.m. on Sept. 18, a suspect broke into the Groveport Municipal Golf Course building at 1005 Richardson Road and allegedly stole $826 in cash along with a Fed-Ex Express book bag and a 20 ounce bottle of Sprite.
“The Groveport Municipal Golf Course was the victim as far as any damage to the building that needed replaced due to the forced entry,” said Groveport Police Detective Josh Gilbert. “The suspect then broke into a cash register that was property of the Paddock Pub and stole $826 in cash. The suspect dropped the cash as officers chased him, so no actual property was reported still missing.”
Gilbert said the suspect has been identified as a 30-year-old male from Lancaster.
“This case has been sent to the Franklin County Prosecutors Office for direct indictment,” said Gilbert. “Patrol officers responded to the scene upon receiving the alarm drop and were able to observe the suspect running from the building. Officers chased the suspect where he dropped all stolen items and some of his personal property. The suspect was able to get away that night, but was tracked down using various investigative techniques including DNA and cell tower data.”
Gilbert said the suspect will be charged with breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree.
When asked if he thinks the golf course is prone to crime because of its relative remote location, Gilbert said, “The Paddock Pub/Groveport Municipal Golf Course is secluded and expected to be unoccupied after hours, so this could make it prone to theft attempts, but we rarely see any crimes being committed at the golf course.”