Toledo officer fires shot in drug suspect's arrest

This pistol, bags of drugs, and cash were seized from Jimmy Sandoval, police said. The suspect was arrested after a brief struggle during which an officer fired his own weapon.
This pistol, bags of drugs, and cash were seized from Jimmy Sandoval, police said. The suspect was arrested after a brief struggle during which an officer fired his own weapon.

An East Toledo man arrested for possession of about $200,000 worth of powder cocaine attempted to reach for an assault pistol after ramming a police car, but surrendered after a police sergeant fired his handgun, authorities said.

Jimmy Sandoval, 29, of 2460 Caledonia St., was being held in the Lucas County jail last night on $160,000 bond after his arraignment yesterday morning in Toledo Municipal Court. He is charged with one count each of felonious assault on a police officer and carrying a concealed weapon and two counts each of trafficking in drugs and drug abuse.

The Toledo-Metro Drug Task Force seized more than one kilo of cocaine worth about $200,000, two pistols, and $5,800 during searches of Sandoval's SUV and home.

The task force was planning to search Sandoval's home Thursday as part of a larger investigation it had been working on for several months when a tip came that he might make a delivery of a large amount of cocaine at the intersection of Milford Avenue and Minerva Street on the east side, Toledo police Capt. Wes Bombrys said.

The cocaine was meant for distribution in the Toledo area, the captain said.

Authorities stopped Sandoval's SUV about 8:20 p.m. in a nearby alley. Sandoval put the SUV into reverse and rammed one of the police vehicles. He then drove forward, nearly striking Sgt. Bob Marzec, who hit and smashed the partially-down driver's side window as the SUV passed by, the captain said.

The SUV suddenly crashed into a guardrail and tree. The sergeant ran to the vehicle, reached in, and grabbed Sandoval with one hand while holding his department-issued handgun with the other. Sandoval pulled the sergeant further inside the SUV and the officer spotted a 9mm assault pistol sitting next to the suspect on the passenger sear.

Captain Bombrys said Sandoval reached for the assault handgun, which was loaded with 30 rounds and ready to fire. The sergeant let go of Sandoval and fired a shot from his gun. The shot hit the ceiling of the SUV and ricocheted. No one was hit, he said.

"All he had to do is start pulling the trigger and [he] would have been gone," Captain Bombrys said of Sandoval.

Sandoval surrendered and was handcuffed after a brief struggle. Besides the gun, authorities recovered about 516 grams between the front seats.

During a search of the suspect's home later, approximately 532 additional grams of powder cocaine were found as well as the money and a Glock 40-caliber pistol.

About 1:15 a.m. yesterday, police responded to the home on an unrelated burglary in which electronic items were taken. One suspect, a 13-year-old boy, was detained by a witness and arrested. Two other suspects fled, police said.

In 1997, a Sandusky County Common Pleas jury acquitted Sandoval of aggravated murder in the May, 1995, shooting death of Jesus Rivas, 27, in Mr. Rivas' Fremont home. He was returned to state prison, where he had been serving time since 1995 on unrelated charges of aggravated robbery, abduction, and receiving stolen property. Sandoval received a one-year sentence for a 2001 case for conveyance of weapons or drugs into a correctional facility while in state prison in Marion, Ohio.