Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, along with the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9, is pleased to recognize Officers from several jurisdictions as the recipients of the Bryan Hurst/Tony Luzio Officer of the Month Award for the month of April.
On February 4th, livery driver Paul Devitt was murdered and his vehicle was taken. Dublin police officers Cpl. Thomas Gallagher, Officer John Wright, Officer Lorelei Griffith, and Officer Eric Walden responded but realized the crime scene was not in their jurisdiction. With a winter storm approaching, these officers immediately took control of the scene. Additionally, Hilliard PD Sgt. Baker was able to obtain important suspect information, which he was also able to relay to the FCSO Detectives. On February 6, 2014, CPD Sgt. Mark Garner and Officer Mark Denner shared this information with the officer on Zone 3 Evening Mid-Watch. On February 7th, Officers Benjamin Leppla and Donald Dawson took the initiative to check the parking lots of the hotels near Hilliard-Rome Road and Interstate 70. Officers Leppla and Dawson came across a black Chevrolet Suburban that was parked in the lot of America’s Best Value Inn. Officers Leppla and Dawson ran the displayed registration through LEADS and determined the license plates did not belong on this vehicle. The officers were able to identify the last four digits of the Vehicle Identification Number and verified that they matched that of the homicide victim’s vehicle. Officers Leppla and Dawson immediately secured the area around the vehicle and contacted the investigating detectives, Todd Tallman and Bryan Meister with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The detectives spoke with the clerk of the motel who was very cooperative in identifying a person currently registered there. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team responded and took the suspect into custody without incident. He was subsequently charged with multiple felony crimes, including Aggravated Murder.
The award presentation, which will tell the rest of the story, will take place on Wednesday, April 2nd around 9:45am, at the Fire Fighters Union Hall located at 379 W. Broad Street.
Any questions, please contact Marilyn Smith at 614-645-4749.