PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what they said was an intentional crash into gas pumps in Painesville Township.
According to Lt. Daniel Bachnicki, a man in a black Buick Rainer was stopped around noon on Saturday at the GetGo gas station on Mentor Avenue and suddenly sped up hitting the pump that then became dislodged from the ground.
While pushing a pump, a Ford pickup truck was hit with a family inside. A relative said that her pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old niece were inside the truck while filling up their tank.
“The gas pump went under the truck, put the truck somewhat on its side, then it was engulfed but the doors were smashed on the passenger side so they had to climb out the driver’s side,” said the family member, who didn’t want to be identified.
The pregnant woman was checked out and taken to the hospital. She and the baby, as well as her family, are shaken up but fine.
Lt. Bachnicki said that the suspect’s vehicle continued through the parking lot and hit several other vehicles on Mentor Avenue. It caught fire from the impact.
The driver began threatening bystanders and deputies with what he claimed was a gun. He continued to sit in the vehicle taunting and threatening deputies as it burned.
Eventually, Lt. Bachnicki said he crawled out and deputies realized a short time later he was holding a pair of plyers in a manner that made it seem like a gun.
Deputies shot “less lethal bean bag rounds” and eventually tasered him to secure and arrest him. The man was taken to Tri Point Hospital to be treated for lacerations and burns from the car fire.
No one else was hurt. The case remains under investigation.