Fleeing drivers crashes into home of ex-director of county emergency management

  • Scott-Gorsuch-1

    Scott Gorsuch.

  • Joe Walter.
    Joe Walter.

    As the former director of the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, Joe Walter knows a thing or two about cleaning up after disasters.

    Scott Gorsuch.
    Scott Gorsuch.

    That background came in handy after a car being pursued by Toledo police crashed early Wednesday into the sunroom of his South Toledo home.

    Mr. Walter said he and his wife, Patricia, were sleeping in a first-floor bedroom at the back of the house in the 3400 block of South River Road when a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville took out part of the outside wall on the room after driving over a neighbor’s lawn.

    The couple heard a loud noise but didn’t realize what happened until they walked to the front of the house and saw the car in the room. By then, the driver had taken off on foot, but was immediately apprehended by police.

    Scott Gorsuch, 32, of 432 Sunset Blvd. was being held late Wednesday in the Lucas County jail and was scheduled for arraignment today in Toledo Municipal Court. He was charged with felonious assault on a police officer, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest, criminal damaging, three counts of vandalism, a misdemeanor charge of possessing a drug-abuse instrument for paraphernalia found in his car, and several traffic charges.

    The officer involved was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for back injuries, police said. His name and condition were not released.

    According to officers, a police gang unit tried to stop a vehicle at 3:11 a.m. for a traffic violation at Buckingham Street and Junction Avenue in the central city, but the vehicle fled, initiating a pursuit, during which the car was blocked up against a cement barrier by authorities in the 3200 block of Airline Avenue.

    Police said an officer then tried to pull the driver from the vehicle, at which time the man started driving again, sideswiping the officer and striking three police vehicles.

    The pursuit continued for several minutes, with the driver hitting two parked cars on Somerset Street. It ended about 3:20 a.m. when the suspect’s vehicle crashed into the Walter residence on South River Road near Central Grove Avenue, police said.

    The driver was taken into custody after a brief struggle, suffering minor injuries, police said.

    Mr. Walter retired from the emergency management agency in December. He had a long career with the Toledo fire department, retiring as assistant chief in 2002.

    He subsequently was the city safety director.