Suspect in Church Bells Theft, Assaulted Officer, Escaped Police

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OLMSTED TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The suspect arrested in connection to the theft of five Russian brass church bells will now be facing additional charges after assaulting an officer and escaping police custody.
 
Olmsted Township Police Lt. Matt Vanyo tells Fox 8 News that David B. Diamond, 34, of Olmsted Township, who was taken into custody at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, assaulted an officer after he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
 
Vanyo says Diamond was taken to Southwest General Hospital after becoming sick on the way to jail following his arrest.
 
According to Vanyo, as Diamond was leaving the hospital in handcuffs, he kicked the officer escorting him out of the hospital and ran.
 
Several local agencies, including Middleburg Heights and Berea Police, along with the Metroparks Rangers, assisted in the search for Diamond.
 
He was found around 3:30 p.m. in a marsh area near the hospital.

On Monday evening Diamond tried selling the church bells as scrap metal to D & B Auto Wrecking in Columbia Station. The auto wrecking company took Diamond’s contact information and then called police.

Olmsted Twp. Police Chief John Minek says Diamond had been charged with felony theft. He is now also facing charges of escape and assault on a police officer.

The bells were stolen from an area in the back of St. Innocent Orthodox Church on Usher road in Olmsted Township.

The imported bells were used to call people to worship at the beginning of every service and children would pull the bells or hit them with mallets to make music.

The bells were donated by a parishioner six years ago. The imported Russian bells cost more than $5,500 and weigh 60 to 70 pounds each.

Diamond is currently being held in the Cuyahoga County jail awaiting his initial court appearance on the charges.