Mich. man charged in Wood Co. burglary; Perrysburg sergeant shot suspect in leg

  • James-Newman

    James Newman

  • James Scott Newman, 39, of Grand Rapids, Mich., is charged with burglary and possession of criminal tools.
    James Scott Newman, 39, of Grand Rapids, Mich., is charged with burglary and possession of criminal tools.

    Authorities have identified a Perrysburg police division sergeant as the officer who shot a burglary suspect in the leg on Tuesday.

    Sgt. Jack Otte, a day-shift supervisor who has worked for the police for about 26 years, was named as the officer involved in the shooting.

    James Scott Newman, 39, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was taken to Toledo Hospital with what police said were nonlife-threatening wounds and charged with burglary and possession of criminal tools.

    The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is handling the investigation, and local police agencies are investigating to determine if Mr. Newman is connected to a rash of rural Wood County residential burglaries.

    Authorities released few details about the shooting, citing the 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 several days of 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 dog unit and additional police from Perrysburg, Lake Township, Rossford, and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office were requested to help with the search.

    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 the sergeant would not provide further details Wednesday, including whether the suspect was armed.

    Sergeant Gross said Mr. Newman remained hospitalized Wednesday, but a Toledo Hospital spokesman had no information on him.

    Mr. Newman had in his possession a file/pry bar, police scanner, binoculars, and latex gloves, according to a criminal complaint filed in Perrysburg Municipal Court.

    Items reported stolen from homes during daytime hours include electronics and jewelry.

    Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer said his department will investigate if several recent burglaries it handled are connected to the string of burglaries or to the suspect. Cash, tools, and other items that are “easily gotten rid of” were taken, he said.

    “We’re following up and trying to piece it together,” he said.

    Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.