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Authorities catch suspect at NASA Plum Brook

By Michael Harrington • Mar 16, 2019 at 10:10 PM

PERKINS TWP. — Erie County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man after he allegedly fled from police and crashed into the security barrier at the NASA Plum Brook Station.

Terry Gritzan, 51, of Strasburg, Ohio, was charged with OVI, fleeing and eluding, obstructing official business and resisting arrest, sheriff Chief Deputy Jared Oliver said.

At about 8 a.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle parked at a business on Tiffin Avenue. The caller said the occupant, later identified as Gritzan, appeared to be passed out and the engine was running.

“One of our deputies responded. After he spoke to Gritzan, he believed he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Oliver said. “When he asked him, Gritzan drove away in his vehicle and fled the area.”

The sheriff’s office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Perkins police attempted to stop Gritzan’s vehicle, but he allegedly continued and drove down the entrance to NASA from Scheid Road off U.S. 250.

Gritzan disabled his vehicle when he crashed into a security barrier at the gate, Oliver said. Gritzan then allegedly fled from the vehicle on foot and hid from authorities. According to a Perkins police report, ammunition was found outside the vehicle, but no firearms were found.

EHOVE Career Center and a nearby daycare were placed on a soft lockdown while the sheriff’s office and multiple agencies, including SWAT agents from the FBI, searched the Plum Brook property for Gritzan. 

“It was done as a precaution,” Oliver said.

An FBI agent found Gritzan hiding in a culvert on the property after he popped his head up. According to Perkins police officers at the scene,  he appeared upset about being chased over marijuana.

Authorities took him into custody and transported him to the hospital after he complained about his ribs.


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