Friday, December 15, 2000

Wounded suspect acted oddly

Police say man acted as if he had a gun

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        EVENDALE — Kenneth Adams learned the hard way when he told police he was armed, put his hand in his coat pocket, and thrust it toward two officers Wednesday afternoon.

        Mr. Adams, 23, had registered at Stiney Vonderhaar's Evendale Motel on Reading Road Wednesday afternoon shortly before he allegedly pulled a robbery at a nearby Dairy Mart. He spent the night under a police guard in Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, in serious condition after being shot in the hip by veteran Forest Park Police Officer Jeffrey Larsh, Evendale Police Chief Gary Foust said Thursday.

        The wound is not life-threatening, doctors told police.

        Mr. Adams, formerly of Revere Run in West Chester, was charged Thursday with robbery.

        “We were dealing with someone whose behavior was irrational and unstable and who refused repeated orders to stop, to lay down on the ground, to get his hand out of his (coat) pocket,” Chief Foust said. “Instead, (Mr. Adams) kept backpedaling away from (two) officers, told them he was armed, put his hand in his right coat pocket (and) ... suddenly thrust his hand forward to make it look like he had a gun.”

        No weapon was found on Mr. Adams.

        Mr. Adams was shot once by Officer Larsh, 38, who arrived with his police dog, Duke.

        The incident unfolded along the tree-lined Mill Creek southwest of the Dairy Mart Mr. Adams is accused of robbing. Police said they found money, taken in the robbery, on Mr. Adams.

        Police suspect Mr. Adams was trying to use the creek and woods to conceal himself as he looped back to his motel room.

        Police were alerted to the robbery by a Dairy Mart clerk who pushed a panic button. Officer Larsh responded to a request for a canine unit.

        Blue Ash Police Officer Stephen Schuller and Woodlawn Police Detective Jim Ohl approached Mr. Adams along the west bank of the creek and tried to persuade him to give up. Officer Larsh and Duke, along with Evendale Police Lt. Greg Phillips, approached from the other side of the creek. As they saw Mr. Adams thrust his hand in his coat pocket toward the other officers, Officer Larsh fired once.

        Forest Park Police Chief Kenneth Hughes said Officer Larsh has been on the force since 1987 and was a Colerain Township police officer for several years before joining Forest Park. Officer Larsh has been placed on administrative leave — routine when an officer fires his weapon in the line of duty.

        “We have every confidence that Jeff acted in an appropriate fashion based on the circumstances he faced,” Chief Hughes said.


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