Suspected bank robber accused of ramming police officer in chase

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PARMA, Ohio — A robbery, a police-involved shooting, a police pursuit through three cities, and an extensive search.

One area police department experienced all of that in a matter of hours. But, in the end, police get their man.

It was a scary situation as Parma police said a robbery suspect deliberately crashed his vehicle into a motorcycle officer. It happened on Michael Drive in Brook Park Saturday morning.

Paul Colonna, who lives on that street, witnessed the police activity.

“I just seen the cars flying up and down the street. And, the car hit the cop car — motorcycle cop — and he went down. Everybody took off chasing,” he said.

Parma Police Sgt. Kevin Riley said the officer fired off two rounds in an attempt to keep the suspect from fleeing.

“The officer did fire his service weapon at the suspect’s vehicle. He did not strike the suspect,” he said.

Ernie Elkins was also in the area and heard the shooting.

“And, then all of a sudden — pop, pop — like that ain’t good. There were tons of sirens and all of sudden tons of cops.   Unbelievable. Somebody was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing,” Elkins said.

Parma police pursued the suspect to Berea where they found his red minivan abandoned behind a business on North Rocky River Road. After three hours of searching, police found the suspect in a wooded area not far from where he left the minivan.

“The credit goes to our canine officers for making the apprehension of the suspect. But, credit goes to all the agencies that assisted our department in getting this suspect off the streets,” Riley said.

Police said the chain of events started after they believed he robbed the Dollar Bank on Pearl Road in Parma shortly after it opened Saturday morning.

Police arrested a 42-year-old Cleveland man. He is charged with aggravated robbery, but he may also be charged with attempted murder for the deliberate assault on the police officer.

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