Thursday, January 25, 2001

Man in car eludes police

Bank held up in Roselawn

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Authorities continued to search Wednesday for a second suspect in connection with an armed bank robbery Tuesday in Roselawn in which suspect Christian Johnson was shot three times by Cincinnati police officers.

        Mr. Johnson, 48, of Forest Park, remained in critical condition at University Hospital on Wednesday night. Police said he was shot three times one block from the robbery scene — CinFed Credit Union, 7364 Reading Road — after he refused to surrender and pointed a loaded gun at officers who were chasing him.

        A second suspect, identified as a black male, was last seen driving south in the 7300 block of Brookcrest Drive in a light green or blue compact car, possibly a Prizm or Honda.

        Sgt. John D. Newsom, homicide-unit supervisor, said two armed males entered the credit union at 2:16 p.m., pointed guns and told everyone to get on the floor.

        One man jumped over the counter and took money from the tellers' trays, he said, before both fled through a rear door.

        District 4 Police Officers Monica Morosky, 27, and Justin Nickel, 30, saw Mr. Johnson crawling under a car parked near the curb on Brookcrest Drive, which runs behind the credit union. When told to surrender, Mr. Johnson ran and pointed a gun at the officers, police said.

        “We have no evidence that (the suspect) fired,” said Sgt. Thomas Lanter, one of the investigating homicide officers. “But he turned and pointed the gun twice as he ran.”

        Officer Morosky did not fire a shot, Sgt. Lanter said, but Officer Nickel fired twice at the fleeing suspect.

        “We don't know if any of the shots Officer Nickel fired hit the suspect,” Sgt. Newsom said.

        Officer Charles Fullman, 50, joined the chase moments later. Mr. Johnson was ordered again to surrender. Instead, he pointed the gun at the officers. This time, Officer Fullman fired, hitting the suspect three times.

        Police found a fully loaded Browning 9mm semiautomatic pistol on Mr. Johnson. They also recovered the money that was taken.

        Mr. Johnson was charged with aggravated robbery and three counts of felonious assault. He had been out on bond after being indicted Jan. 16 on a charge of robbery.

        In January 2000, he was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle without a license. In August 2000, he was charged with public gaming.

        The three officers have been placed on standard administrative leave with pay during the investigation.

        Investigators request anyone with information to call the homicide unit at 352-3542 or Crimestoppers at 352-3040.


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