CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained police video showing Berea officers arresting a wanted man for trying to steal a rifle at a gun show.
It happened Sunday at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.
Berea Police arrested Mitchell Bonkowski for taking a rifle off a table of a gun dealer and trying to walk out with it. Employees of the dealer stopped him.
One told police, “I seen him get it. He put it down by his leg trying to walk fast.”
Records show the weapon was a .308 caliber AR-10-style rifle. The police video shows it’s worth $1,229.
Bonkowski told police, "I didn't steal anything. That's the thing."
An officer responded by asking, "Are your fingerprints gonna be on that gun? And you're 50 feet from where that gun should be?”
When police took a closer look at the man they'd arrested, they found he'd been on the run. Police agencies all over Northeast Ohio have been looking for him. Records show two arrest warrants for felony cases in Portage County and 3 arrest warrants for lesser cases in Garfield Heights, Geauga County and Streetsboro.
Among the cases pending against Bonkowski, charges for failing to comply with police, drug paraphernalia, and DUI. He also has a conviction for theft. The police report shows one charge for what happened at the gun show is for “Possession of a firearm while a fugitive from justice.”
The new charges have been sent to Berea Municipal Court, but they could end up in Cuyahoga County court soon. Meantime, Bonkowski will also now have to answer to the outstanding charges he’d been wanted for in other area courts.