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Published: Tuesday, 8/6/2013

Toledo man whose car struck police officer in February gets eight-year sentence

Gorsuch also gets license suspended for 15 years

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo man whose car struck a police officer and a South Toledo home while attempting to flee from police told the court Monday he was on a day-long cocaine binge at the time.

Scott Gorsuch, 32, of 1225 Bernath Pkwy., was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Frederick McDonald, who also suspended his driver's license for 15 years. Gorsuch pleaded guilty in June to felonious assault for the Feb. 6 incident that injured Toledo Police Officer Jason Picking.

Gorsuch said he’d been on a “17- to 18-hour cocaine high,” that he’d spent $750 on the drug, and made the decision to drive off from police when he was pulled over that night.

“I did not mean to cause any physical harm to anyone,” Gorsuch said. “Like I said I was going on an all-day cocaine binge. It was not the best judgment.”

Gorsuch sped off when police attempted to stop his vehicle at Buckingham Street and Junction Avenue in the central city. Judge McDonald, who watched the dash-cam video of the events that followed, said it was “a very dangerous situation.”

“It was icy, and the defendant ended up in a dead end street,” the judge said. “He was stuck, and he was rocking the car back and forth attempting to get out. The police were at the side of his car trying to get in to disable the car when the car swung around and knocked one of the officers to the ground.”

Gorsuch's flight continued to River Road near Central Grove Avenue, where his car slid into the home of Joe Walter, the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency's former director.

For that incident, Gorsuch pleaded no contest in Toledo Municipal Court and was found guilty of criminal damaging. He is to be sentenced Aug. 14 but agreed in municipal court to pay restitution to cover the homeowner’s insurance deductible, his attorney Pete Rost told the court.

While Gorsuch asked the court for a sentence that would give him the opportunity to receive needed drug treatment, Judge McDonald cited his lengthy criminal history, including a prior conviction for assault on a peace officer.

“The greatest concern here is protecting the public from this defendant’s conduct,” Judge McDonald said. “This is the second time he’s been convicted here of assaulting a police officer.”

The judge also ordered Gorsuch to pay restitution of $1,643.80 to Toledo Police for damage to a cruiser.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.


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