By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Local authorities have obtained an arrest warrant and are taking precautions to alert area residents about the escape from a psychiatric ward of a man who reportedly shot at Scioto County Sheriff’s deputies in January 2011.
Authorities learned Thursday morning that John Stroud, 53, of 1245 Hogan St., Rosemount, who had been indicted on charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, and inducing panic with specifications to the attempted murder and attempted assault charges, had escaped from Heath Nursing and Convalescent Home at 717 S. 30th St. in Heath, Ohio. Employees were alerted when it was discovered that the window in Stroud’s room had been broken.
On Jan. 19, 2011, Scioto County Sheriff’s deputies were called for a “welfare” check at Stroud’s home, which resulted in a nearly four-hour standoff. After attempting to negotiate with Stroud to try to get him to surrender his firearm, deputies said they found the opportunity when the Stroud was not holding the weapon. They used a Taser to subdue him, but deputies said he then fled into the house and gained control of a handgun prior to falling, at which time deputies reported the subject discharged one round, with two deputies returning fire, striking Stroud once in the knee. Stroud was apprehended and transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center, where he was treated and later transported to Grant Hospital in Columbus for further treatment.
“We have a bench warrant from (Scioto County) Common Pleas Court for leaving the nursing facility,” Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said. “He was scheduled for a competency hearing on May 30 coming up.”
Donini said after he received the report of the escape, contact was made with those who were the closest to him locally.
“We have talked with his family and talked with neighbors to let them know about the escape,” Donini said. “His family has been very cooperative. We have no reason to believe he will come back here.”
Authorities at the Heath Police Department say Stroud is an avid outdoorsman and may have been headed to a wooded area in an attempt to avoid capture. They also have reason to believe he may have been headed south. Heath is about 30 minutes east of Columbus.
Detective Sgt. Craig Black said surrounding agencies have alerted to be on the lookout for Stroud, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol was using their air units to search.
“A subject matching Stroud’s description was last seen walking north on South 30th Street in the Claren Drive area,” Sgt. Chad Hunt said in a press release. “Stroud’s current whereabouts are unknown at this time and he is not known to have any local contacts. Stroud has a history of violence and should be considered dangerous. If you should see him, contact the police immediately and do not approach.”
Some Licking County schools either canceled classes, locked down or took other precautionary measures Thursday in reaction to the news of Stroud’s escape.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.