On October 9, 2018, Hilliard Police Officers Brian Gano and Shane O’Connor were dispatched to Interstate 270 on report of a reckless driver who had hit-skipped some of the construction equipment positioned near the Hayden Run overpass. Witnesses stated that at one point the driver of the vehicle had emerged from his car and appeared to be preparing to jump off the bridge.
Officer Gano was the first officer to arrive on scene, and received reports that the suspect was now driving the wrong way through the same construction zone. He observed the vehicle driving directly towards him, and took immediate action to prevent the driver from swerving into oncoming traffic. He used his cruiser to direct the suspect vehicle into a pile of construction material, and then pinned the vehicle in place with his own cruiser, preventing what could have been much more extensive damage and possible injury.
The obviously disturbed suspect emerged from the vehicle and began walking towards traffic while stripping off his clothing. Officer O’Connor had then arrived on scene, and took the suspect to the ground in order to keep him from being struck by oncoming vehicles.
It was unclear whether the suspect was under the influence of a controlled substance or suffering a mental health crisis. In any case, the decisive actions of Officers Gano and O’Connor prevented what could have turned into a major tragedy on the Interstate.
Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, the Fraternal Order of Police, and United Dairy Farmers are pleased to recognize Officers Brian Gano and Shane O’Connor as Officers of the Month for January.