December 22, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
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Shoplifting suspect rescued after falling down ravine

ELYRIA — A suspected shoplifter who led police on a chase Saturday night fell down a steep Ford Road ravine and had to be rescued by firefighters.

The man, arrested by police after being lifted about 200 feet up the steep hill in a Stokes basket, suffered a possible broken ankle, said Assistant Elyria Fire Chief James Cawley.

“We splinted him, but he was conscious and talking,” Cawley said.

The suspect, whose name was not available at press time, reportedly took items from the Radio Shack store in the Midway Crossings shopping area off West River Road, said Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino.

After leaving the store about 7:30 p.m. without paying for merchandise, the man ran toward Ford Road, where he apparently fell down a hillside while being chased by police, Lorain County Metro Parks rangers and Lorain County sheriff’s deputies, Costantino said.

Jim Ziemnik, executive director of metro parks, said rangers told him the man jumped a fence near a mattress store where Midway Boulevard and Ford Road come together.

“He went down the incline,” Ziemnik said. “That’s a steep hill.”

A park ranger was in the vicinity when calls came in about the chase, and the ranger offered his assistance in finding the man and detaining him, Ziemnik said.

A police K-9 also was called in to help locate the shoplifter, Ziemnik said.

Four firefighters, who brought him up in the basket with ropes, had a tough time.

“It was an extremely difficult place, due to all the melting snow,” Cawley said. “The hillside was extremely slippery.”

The man was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center for treatment.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.