FINDLAY, OH—Police on Thursday wrapped up a 14-hour manhunt with the arrest of a suspect accused of causing the shooting of an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper with his own service weapon late Wednesday night. The trooper was seriously injured.
Robert Tramaine Hathorn, 42, was captured about 1:30 p.m. on Hancock County Road 223 near Trenton Avenue in Findlay, Sgt. Ryan Purpura, a patrol spokesman, said. Mr. Hathorn was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay to be checked for an injury. He was booked Thursday evening in the Hancock County jail on a charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
The nature of the injury was not disclosed, but it occurred during the fight with the trooper, Sergeant Purpura said.
Mr. Hathorn was wanted for shooting Trooper Josef M. Brobst, who had pulled over a Michigan-registered SUV Mr. Hathorn was driving on southbound I-75 near Findlay about 11:05 p.m. Wednesday for speeding. The black 2016 Chevrolet Suburban was found about three hours later behind a business on County Road 140, near Liberty Township Road 89 just west of Findlay.
Officials said that after Trooper Brobst made the traffic stop between the freeway's County Road 99 and U.S. 224 interchanges, a struggle ensued over his service weapon that resulted in the trooper suffering a gunshot wound in the lower part of his body, the patrol said. Mr. Hathorn then fled the scene.
Sergeant Purpura said Trooper Brobst had asked Mr. Hathorn to exit the vehicle because the trooper smelled marijuana. The two were standing behind the patrol cruiser when the struggle took place, Sergeant Purpura said. He said he did not know whether the gun had been drawn by the trooper or was still in the trooper's holster.
Trooper Brobst suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to the highway patrol. He was taken by ambulance to Blanchard Valley Hospital, while his service weapon was in the state patrol's possession.
An estimated 100 law enforcement officers from various agencies helped in the search, assisted by a highway patrol helicopter from Columbus. A sighting by a member of the public led officers to converge on the location where Mr. Hathorn was found. Sergeant Purpura said the apprehension highlighted the value of public vigilance in such situations.
Departments participating in the investigation were the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, Findlay city police, Hancock County Sheriff's Office, Toledo Police Department, Fostoria Police Department, Wood County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Findlay school district closed for the day because of the ensuing manhunt and the Finlay campus of Owens Community College canceled classes about 9:30 a.m. because of what was described as "a dangerous community situation."
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