Saturday, July 07, 2001

Suspect in police assault walks away from hospital

Two officers hurt; crash injures third

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGFIELD TWP. — A 22-year-old Cumminsville man charged with assaulting two police officers Thursday night walked away from University Hospital Friday wearing a hospital gown.

[photo] Anthony Wilcox is put into an ambulance Friday morning.
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(Brandi Stafford photos)
[photo] Injured officers Clayton Smith (on the ground) and Rob Merkle (walking right) after being hurt in a scuffle.
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[photo] Officer John Buxsel's cruiser after striking a concrete barrier.
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        Earlier Officer John Buxsel, who was rushing to help, suffered a broken leg when his cruiser struck a concrete wall in Greenhills. He was in fair condition Friday evening after surgery at University Hospital.

        Springfield Township Police Chief David Heimpold said police officers Clayton Smith and Rob Merkle suffered minor injuries during a scuffle with Anthony P. Wilcox, 22, of President Drive. Officers Merkle and Smith were treated at Mercy Hospital Fairfield and released.

        University Hospital spokeswoman Pat Samson said Mr. Wilcox was on a police hold when he left his seventh-floor room about 15 minutes after being admitted. A police guard had not yet arrived. No one saw him leave. He was reported missing by employees.

        Mr. Wilcox has been charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. When arrested, he was wanted on several misdemeanor and traffic warrants and a probation violation, police said.

        Shortly before midnight, Officer Smith responded to the Sunoco service station at Winton and Compton roads on a report that employees were having trouble with a customer, police said.

        Chief Heimpold said Officer Smith, a 13-year veteran, saw Mr. Wilcox driving away and stopped the car. Officer Merkle, with three years on the department, also arrived. Mr. Wilcox ran. After a short foot chase, Mr. Wilcox began fighting the officers. They radioed for help.

        Officer Buxsel, a seven-month member of the department, was responding to the call when he lost control of his car at a curve on Winton Road near Andover Avenue and struck the barrier.


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