A 19-year-old Cleveland man wanted in connection with a shoplifting incident at Beachwood Place who then attempted to run over a police officer remained at large on July 2.
The man was identified as Jaquan Jones, whose last known address was on Urbana Road, Beachwood police Chief Gary Haba said in a June 28 news release.
There is an active warrant for his arrest for felonious assault on a peace officer, Haba said. Other charges are pending upon completion of the investigation.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m. June 27, a Beachwood police officer attempted to detain the suspect, who fled on foot, eluded officers and exited the mall through Saks Fifth Avenue, according to the release.
After a brief attempt to hide in some bushes, the suspect sprinted north through the parking lot as an officer was arriving to the area. From the cruiser, Haba said, the officer commanded the suspect to stop but he continued running to enter a gray 2014 Nissan sedan, which had previously been reported stolen in Cleveland.
Haba said the situation evolved from a routine shoplifting offense to a serious public safety risk when the suspect got behind the wheel of a vehicle and placed officers and others in the community in danger. The suspect ignored the commands to exit the vehicle from the officer, who was now on foot, and instead attempted to flee in the vehicle, Haba said.
Unable to move forward due to a police cruiser mostly blocking the path, the suspect recklessly moved in reverse before having his escape path blocked by another arriving cruiser, Haba said. The suspect then pulled forward and rammed his way out of his previous parking space by striking another parked vehicle, with an officer sustaining an injury to his foot consistent with having his foot run over by the suspect vehicle. During that maneuvering, the officer engaged the suspect and vehicle with two rounds from his duty weapon, said Haba, adding the officer was treated and released from a hospital.
The suspect left the parking lot and was pursued by other officers north on Richmond Road, where he came to a stop and abandoned the vehicle on Azalea Drive in South Euclid.
During the search, a discarded handgun, an article of clothing and other evidence were recovered, Haba said. Evidence suggests the suspect forced entry into a home in the area and left prior to the arrival of the officers conducting the search.
“He threw a gun over on my patio,” James Barrett, who lives on Azalea Drive off Monticello Boulevard in South Euclid, told the Cleveland Jewish News June 27. “It was a gun on the patio.”
Barrett said police took the gun.
“I didn’t even hear him,” Barrett said. “You don’t hear sirens around here. So, I happened to look out and I didn’t see anything. I was taking the trash out and I saw just one car and the police car.”
Fellow Azalea Drive resident Charles Bevel said, “The guy took off running down the street. He broke into a house to clean his wounds.”
That house is seven houses from where he jumped out of the car. The vehicle had damage on all sides. A Lyndhurst police officer recovered the rear bumper at an intersection and brought it to the scene. At about 7:30 p.m., the car was towed away.
Law-enforcement vehicles came and went for at least three hours – until just before 7:30 p.m., when the search was called off. Several Beachwood police vehicles were on scene, as were the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Ohio State Highway Patrol. K-9 units were also on scene.
Haba said the Ohio BCI is investigating the officer’s actions and that, per department policy, the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Mall operations were not affected during or after the incident and the safety of patrons inside the mall was not compromised, Haba said.
Brookfield Properties, which owns Beachwood Place, issued a statement
“We are grateful that our guests and tenants were not impacted by yesterday’s incident and that there was no threat to our shopping center community,” wrote Lindsay Kahn, senior manager of public relations and marketing at Brookfield Properties.
Staff Reporter Jane Kaufman contributed to this story.