FINDLAY – The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released the identities of the three suspects arrested following an incident that killed a Bluffton Police Department officer. The names, ages, and locations where the suspects are incarcerated are as follows: Emin Johnson, 20, incarcerated at the Hancock County Justice Center; Zachary Love, 21, incarcerated at the Hancock County Justice Center; Dante Tate, 19, incarcerated at the Medina County Jail.
The incident began on March 31 at approximately 2 a.m. when troopers from the Marion Patrol Post observed a dark-colored sedan traveling at a high rate of speed on US Route 23 northbound, but were unable to make contact with the vehicle.
A Findlay Post trooper then identified the vehicle as a black Infiniti sedan at approximately 2:20 a.m. on state Route 15 in Hancock County. The suspect vehicle continued to flee on state Route 15 and then onto Interstate 75 southbound.
At 2:30 a.m., on Interstate 75, near exit 142, Officer Dominic Francis, 42, Bluffton Police Department, was attempting to deploy stop sticks and was struck by the fleeing vehicle. Officer Francis subsequently succumbed to his injuries from the crash.
Three suspects fled on foot east from the Infiniti sedan. At approximately 3 a.m., a gray 2010 Toyota Prius was stolen from a residence on County Road 29 in Hancock County. One of the suspects was taken into custody in the neighboring proximity of the residence from where the Prius was stolen.
The Toyota Prius was then located by a trooper from the Medina Post on Interstate 71 near milepost 208 in Medina County. The vehicle continued to flee on westbound state Route 82. One suspect was ultimately taken into custody from the Prius at approximately 8:15 a.m. after a traffic stop at state Route 57 and Chestnut Ridge Rd. in the city of Elyria.
The third suspect was arrested in Hancock County on March 31 at 12:49 p.m.
The Patrol is partnering with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Bluffton Police Department, and other law enforcement partners. The Patrol wants to reiterate its appreciation of all agencies involved in the ongoing investigation, as well as resources deployed.
Previous media releases on this incident incorrectly identified one of the roads as state Route 23. The correct road name is US Route 23.