Man remembers fallen Twinsburg officer with 10-hour bike ride

TWINSBURG, Ohio - Ten years after Twinsburg Police Officer Josh Miktarian was shot and killed while on duty, his community is pausing to remember his service and his sacrifice.

Miktarian was killed after making a traffic stop at 2 a.m. on Glenwood Drive. His killer, Ashford Thompson, has since been convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

Outside of the Twinsburg Police Department a permanent memorial honors the memory of Miktarian.

But Bob Votruba has made it his mission to make certain the community never forgets.

Votruba said he was driving on Route 91 on the morning of July 13, 2008 when he heard a radio news report about a Twinsburg officer being killed.

"I looked down that street and I see a makeshift memorial and I said my goodness that's where he must have been shot. It just had a very big impact on me and I did something every year here in Twinsburg before I started riding five years ago," Votruba said.

Over the past five years, Votruba has ridden his bicycle around Twinsburg carrying signs in memory of Miktarian.

On Friday, for the 10th anniversary of Miktarian's tragic death, Votruba planned to ride 10 hours around the city.

"One of the biggest things that touched me deeply was Josh's daughter Thea was 2 and a half months old when her dad was taken from her and I had heard from one of the firemen several years ago that one of the concerns of Thea was that her dad was going to be forgotten," Votruba said.

"The community cannot forget the sacrifice that Josh made and I, as an individual, am not going to let that happen as well," he added.

As he carries out his mission, Votruba is met with waves and honks from passing cars. People shout out their appreciation.

For those pausing to pay respect at the permanent memorial on Friday, Votruba's efforts were welcomed.

"I think what he does is a tremendous. It just does a tremendous act for the city of Twinsburg and just does a really good thing for the Miktarian family to let them know that we haven't forgotten about them," said Hunter Williams. a police explorer in Twinsburg.

Votruba travels the country in a bus that he lives in, spreading words of kindness and tolerance.

He calls his effort 1 million acts of kindness.

In addition to honoring the memory of officer Miktarian, he hopes spreading that message will help prevent another officer, or anybody, from dying a senseless death as a result of violence.

"Just try to do some good, try to offer something good to someone in their honor. It makes a difference that's for sure," Votruba said.

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