UPDATED: One dead, two in jail following police-involved shooting in Perrysburg Township

Published: Aug. 27, 2018 at 10:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

For Jim and Linda Heilman it was a normal day when things quickly changed.

"I heard this 'pop, pop, pop,' several pops," said Linda Heilman.

Shortly after the shots rang out the couple says they then saw an unusual sight in the backyard of their Perrysburg Township home.

"We saw officers coming from both sides," said Jim Heilman.

According to township leaders, the Heilman's saw the deadly end to a chase that started earlier in the afternoon on I-75 north of U.S. 20.

Detective Sgt. Todd Curtis told 13abc an officer observed a traffic violation on state rt 795 near I 75. Lt. Matt Gararek stopped the vehicle on I 75 southbound at US Route 20

He allegedly detected an odor or marijuana in the vehicle and had the driver step out. The driver 29 year old Harold Christopher Geiger from Pembroke Georgia was found in possession of marijuana. He was arrested. Police say while that was taking place, a passenger inside the motor vehicle locked the doors and took off. The driver exited on US 20

Another passenger that was in the vehicle with the driver was 33 year old Robert Anthony Scarrow from Mount Clemens, Scarrow was let out of the vehicle in the Three Meadows area and fled on foot. He was later arrested by Perrysburg Township's Police chief and detectives. Police tried to stop the vehicle on Thompson Road. Sgt. Curtis says the vehicle fled heading westbound on Roachton Rd. at which pointed it left the roadway and traveled one mile off road before it came to Neiderhouse road and crashed into a ditch. The driver bailed out of the car and officers chased him.

"As the suspect fled he fired on the police officers with a handgun," said Perrysburg Township Administrator Walter Celley. "The officers returned fire."

The suspect ran into a backyard. Sgt. Curtis says he grabbed an elderly gentleman on a lawnmower and put a gun to his head. He then grabbed the grandson of that man and forced that grandson to a golf cart. Officers surrounded the golf cart. Sgt Curtis told 13abc that officers were able to get the grandson away from the suspect. The suspect allegedly produced a threat to law enforcement officers and officers shot and killed him.

The remaining suspects are locked up at the Wood County Jail and charge with obstructing justice. They are being held without bond. Police released the names of the officers involved in the incident Lieutenant Matt Gazarek, Sergeant David Molter, and Officer Donny Widmer. They have between five and 16 years with the Perrysburg Township police department. As with any officer-involved shooting they are on paid leave.

According to the Perrysburg Township Administrator, there have been no prior officer involved shootings in the township.

For neighbors like the Heilman's it's a nerve-racking event they say they won't soon forget.

"It was very scary for a few minutes until we realized it was under control," said Linda Heilman.

The investigation was handed off to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.