Authorities have identified the police officer who on Tuesday shot a burglary suspect in the leg as a Perrysburg Police Division sergeant.
Sgt. Jack Otte, a day-shift supervisor who has worked for the City of Perrysburg police for about 26 years, was named as the officer involved in the shooting. James Newman, 39, of Grand Rapids, Mich. was taken to Toledo Hospital with what police said were non life-threatening wounds and charged with burglary and possession of criminal tools.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is handling the shooting investigation, and local police agencies will investigate if Mr. Newman is connected to a rash of rural, residential Wood County burglaries.
Authorities released few details about the shooting, citing the bureau’s ongoing investigation. Jill Del Greco, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office of which the bureau is a part, said the bureau would present its findings to the Wood County prosecutor who would make a decision on whether to pursue any charges.
Sergeant Otte is taking a couple days paid leave, an action recommended but not required after such an incident, Perrysburg Police Division Deputy Chief Michael Gilmore said. Police chief Dan Paez said the sergeant has been a good police officer and supervisor.
“All of the preliminary information that we are receiving from the investigating agency indicates that the officer acted appropriately,” Chief Paez said.
Tuesday’s incident started when Perrysburg Township police Sgt. James Gross was on patrol in an unmarked car as part of police response to roughly 20 burglaries that have taken place in the township and Wood County since the beginning of January.
He saw the suspect’s pickup on Roachton Road near Thompson Road and said there were items in the truck bed believed to be connected to an earlier break-in. Police determined a nearby house had been burglarized and an officer allegedly saw the suspect with a backpack flee from the rear area of a Thompson Road home into some woods.
A canine unit and additional police from the city of Perrysburg, Lake Township, Rossford and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office were requested to help with the search for the suspect.
Sergeant Gross said the suspect was in the woods for less than an hour. Police said Tuesday the suspect was shot when he came out of the woods but would not provide further details Wednesday, including if the suspect was armed.