Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Man held in stabbing, holdups


Brian S. Roach, 34, confessed to the crimes, and the knife that authorities said he used in the stabbing was recovered.


A vehicle and foot pursuit Tuesday led to the arrest of a man police say robbed and stabbed an elderly man, robbed an elderly woman, and attempted to rob another elderly woman in a crime spree Monday and Tuesday.

Brian S. Roach, 34, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, is held in the Lucas County jail without bond on two charges of aggravated robbery and one charge of assault.

Additional charges are pending, police said. Mr. Roach confessed to the crimes, and the knife authorities said he used in the stabbing was recovered, Detective Regina Lester said.

The first victim was Gerald Cope, 78, of Lambertville, who was leaving his dentist's office, 4841 Monroe St., at 3 p.m. Monday when he was stabbed and robbed of his wallet.

Mr. Cope said he had strapped himself into his car and lowered the window to air the vehicle when "I noticed this guy was walking toward me. All of a sudden he was all over me" through the open window. Mr. Cope said he saw the knife in his assailant's hand, and grabbed the hand, but still suffered a two-inch deep stab wound in the chest.

"He pulled himself out the car and opened the car door, but I couldn't get out. I was held in by the seat belt," Mr. Cope said. The attacker then grabbed the wallet containing $130 from Mr. Cope's rear pants pocket.

After the attacker fled, a nurse appeared from somewhere, Mr. Cope said, and applied pressure to his wound to stop the bleeding. Firefighters and police soon arrived, and he was transported to Toledo Hospital by EMS.

The next victims, Tuesday, were two Toledo women - Geneva Cully, 78, and Donna Therkelsen, 72.

Police said Ms. Cully was confronted in the DeVeaux Village parking lot at noon by a man who demanded money. He fled when she kicked him in the groin.

An hour later, a man brandishing a knife demanded money from Ms. Therkelsen in the Wendy's parking lot at 1859 West Laskey Rd. She gave him $40 and he fled.

A description of the suspect and his red Ford F-150 pickup was put on the air, and an officer responding to a call about an unrelated offense spotted a vehicle matching the description at Douglas Road and Sylvania Avenue.

When the officer, Mary Beth Stachura, used her lights and siren, the pickup driver tried to speed away.

The chase lasted until the driver abandoned the vehicle on Berkshire Place and fled on foot. Backup units responding to Officer Stachura arrested Mr. Roach in the 2000 block of Brame Place at 1:40 p.m.

Mr. Cope, a Korean War veteran, was pleased last night to learn an arrest had been made. He had high praise for Toledo police and public-safety forces.

"Over 50 years ago, the North Koreans couldn't kill me. This guy couldn't either. I'm lucky, but I don't really feel it. I'm glad it happened the way it did today," he said.

Added his wife, Gudren: "I hope they put him away. I know the prisons are full and they don't have room for these guys. But we don't need him."

Contact Carl Ryan at:

or 419-724-6050.

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