–by Mike Jones
PUBLICATION DATE: March 05, 2019
Alert police work can sometimes turn the most mundane call for service into something far from the usual. A Sylvania Township police officer, one recent night, was dispatched to look into a complaint about a car parked in a reserved for a handicapped spot at Walmart, 5821 West Central. After locating the vehicle, the officer noted several open containers of alcohol in the car and decided to wait in his car nearby. In a short time, he reported that a man got into the front passenger seat.
The officer asked the man for some identifying information as they walked back toward the store to look for the driver. After the driver was located the officer was told there were two other people with them and the officer asked for backup.
As these events were occurring, the dispatcher was asking for more information on the man who had been in the car. Although each piece of information he gave was incorrect, when put together they were close enough to identify the individual as Darius Johnson, 30, of Tecumseh St. The dispatcher added that he was on parole for a felonious assault conviction and wanted on four warrants by Toledo police.
Backup officers had arrived and as the officer was in the process of securing Johnson he also began a pat down search. He felt and announced the suspect had a handgun in his right pants pocket. At that point, Johnson broke free and began to flee across the nearly empty Walmart parking lot. He was chased for 100 to 150 ft. when he was struck by a taser and disabled.
Deputy Chief Jim Rettig said it was a good example of why police can never let down their guard, even when the initial circumstances make it look like there may have been a relatively minor infraction.
“You never know what’s going to happen when you’re dispatched to a scene. You just never know.”
Johnson was charged with resisting arrest; falsification, for giving false identification information; theft, for earphones he allegedly stole from Walmart; and having a weapon under a disability, because as a convicted felon he is not allowed to possess a gun.
Chief Rettig added that the weapons charge has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution as a federal crime.
Funding for community agencies
Funding to some community agencies was granted by the Sylvania Township trustees at a recent meeting.
The Sylvania Community Action Team was awarded $6,750, Sylvania Area Family Services will receive $14,000, the Sylvania Area Arts Commission will get $3,000 and Lucas County Soil and Water district was granted $750.
It’s been a long road, literally, for Curtis Snapp, who will soon retire after 29 years of service with the Sylvania Township roads department.
Snapp is to be recognized for those years at the March 5 meeting of the Sylvania Township trustees.
It’s been a lot of years of clearing township roads of snow and spreading salt, collecting leaves from those same roadways, patching streets, rebuilding curbs, building catch basins and all of the work which keeps the department employees busy every day.
It’s also been a lot of years of anticipating the late night or early morning call that would pull him out of bed to begin plowing because of a snow storm or to sometimes tend to a tree blown across a road during a wind storm.
Even those, Snapp said, “come with the job. I knew that when I signed on. The job’s to keep the roads safe, in good shape.”
In 1990, Snapp had worked as a truck driver and in landscaping at Sylvania Country Club when a relative told him there was an opening in the Sylvania Township road department. “I had the skills they wanted and I got the job.”
Through all the seasons, he said, he enjoyed the different tasks that each one held. His coworkers, Snapp said, “have been good guys. They know what they’re doing. It’s been a good job. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Rob Nash, road superintendent, said “Curtis is always here. He’s ready to get the job done.”
About those early-morning emergency situations, when Nash has to call in workers?
There are no complaints. “Curtis is my rock,” Nash said.
While spending so many hours working for the township, Snapp has maintained an interest in S & S Landscape, a local business started by his father and now operated by his son. Snapp has primarily worked on mechanical issues with the company’s trucks, lawn mowers, etc.
He said he may expand his workload with the company and he will continue his duties as a deacon at Sylvania’s St. Joseph Catholic Church.
But, for now, it’s enough to think about his and his wife’s annual trip to Clearwater, Fla.