K-9, helicopter, drone track down suspect

LIME CITY — A routine traffic stop by the Perrysburg Township police turned into a manhunt involving their K-9 unit, along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol with a helicopter.

A Perrysburg Township police officer attempted a routine traffic stop on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. southbound on Ohio 25 at approximately Dowling Road.

“The car continued on. It was not a pursuit. The car continued on to Ohio 582, at a slow rate of speed. Essentially, they failed to pull over, but they never initiated a pursuit,“ Perrysburg Township Police Department Deputy Chief Matt Gazarek said. “When the officer approached the car, a male passenger, jumped out of the passenger seat and took off running, west southwest, to a nearby field towards some woods.”

The suspect who ran was Kruiz Lorenc, 30, of North Baltimore, Gazarek said. The name given to the officer was a different name, with warrants on file. Lorenc also had an outstanding warrant under his name.

The patrol aided in the arrest with a helicopter and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office with a drone on Devils Hole Road, Gazarek said.

“It looks like they searched for a couple hours, with the help of the drone and the helicopter, they located and took this male into custody, for obstructing,” he said.

When the sheriff’s office was called in, along with the patrol, a perimeter was set up. The Perrysburg Township K-9 Unit, with K-9 Rico, a German shepherd, was also called in.

“The K-9 tracked for a couple of hours into that wooded area,” Gazarek said. “The female (driver), that was still in the car, advised that it was a male of a different name.”

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn gives a lot of credit to Deputy Greg Panning, the Wood County Sheriff’s office licensed drone operator.

“It has infrared cameras. It’s a great tool to have,” Wasylyshyn said of the manhunt that happened in the darkness of night.

Panning was able to track Lorenc, who Wasylyshyn said ran when he heard the sound of the drone. The limited drone battery was used up around that time. However, Panning was familiar enough with the OSHP capabilities to be able to call in the helicopter. That pilot was able to narrow down the location enough for the K-9 unit to move in and the police and sheriff’s deputies made the arrest.

Lorenc was transported to the jail, where with a previous warrant out of Wood County, for which he was released on his own recognizance, with charges of obtaining/possession/use of a controlled substance and driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs. For his arrest on Saturday, he was charged by Perrysburg Township Police with obstructing official business, an unsentenced misdemeanor of the second degree.

Lorenc was released on Monday, after being arraigned at 1:30 p.m. by video, with a court date for Friday. There was an original $5,000 bond that was raised to $7,500.

Lorenc pleaded not guilty.

“Kind of silly, of him, tack on another charge for a misdemeanor warrant,” Gazarek said.

The arrest was made approximately a mile and a half away from the traffic stop.

“We were able to make the arrest without anyone getting hurt, which is always important,” Wasylyshyn said.