Bond set at $3 million for man accused of smashing vehicle into gas pump, hitting truck with family inside

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PAINESVILLE TWP., Ohio (WJW) — Surveillance video released Monday morning shows the terrifying moments authorities say a man smashed into a gas pump and a truck with a family inside.

It happened Saturday before noon. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the GetGo gas station on Mentor Avenue in Painesville Township for a report of a possible accident that resulted in a fire at one of the gas pumps.

The sheriff’s office said an investigation revealed the man driving an SUV accelerated at a high rate of speed and intentionally rammed into a gas pump. Investigators on Monday said the man let his 13-year-old daughter out of the SUV before driving toward the gas station.

The pump became dislodged from the ground and the man’s vehicle continued across the parking lot, when it struck a pick-up truck that was getting gas at another pump.

Two adults and their child were in the pick-up truck; the collision forced the truck into the gas pump.

A fire was ignited and began to consume the truck, according to the sheriff’s office. Thankfully, everyone in the truck was able to get out and is okay.

The driver of the SUV continued across the parking lot toward Mentor Ave and struck another vehicle. The SUV then caught fire.

Bystanders approached the driver to try and help him, but the sheriff’s office said the driver told them he had a gun and was going to shoot and kill everyone.

The driver then tried to flee the area and the sheriff’s office said he reiterated to deputies he had a gun and would shoot and kill. The man then pointed what appeared to be a gun toward deputies, authorities said.

He eventually crawled out of the driver’s side window, still holding what appeared to be a gun in his hands, the sheriff’s office said.

After a brief standoff, deputies were able to determine he was holding a pair of pliers “in a matter to make everyone think it was a gun,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

Deputies then deployed less than lethal bean bag rounds at the man as he “continued to ignore commands.”

Ultimately, he was incapacitated by a Taser and taken into custody. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of lacerations and burns to his leg.

The man, identified as Michael Craig, was then booked into the Lake County Jail.

Michael Craig

According to the jail website, he faces the following charges: felonious assault, aggravated menacing, aggravated arson, vandalism, inducing panic, and resisting arrest.

Craig appeared in court Monday afternoon at which time he pleaded not guilty. Bond was set at $3 million.

The matter remains under investigation.

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