Thursday, June 27, 2002

Man may be blind after police chase

Suspect shot himself in eye, officers say

By Susan Vela,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — A 38-year-old township man could be permanently blind after he led police on a car and foot chase Wednesday, returned to his home and shot himself in the face, officers said.

Forest Park firefighters take John Dodson to a waiting ambulance after he shot himself after being cornered by police in his home.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        John L. Dodson, of the 12000 block of Mill Road, was in critical condition at University Hospital, where he was transported by helicopter after he shot himself with a .22-caliber handgun, police said.

        Mr. Dodson was talking after the shooting and is expected to survive, said Springfield Township Police officer Dave Heimpold.

        He has been arrested on charges of inducing panic and fleeing and eluding. He also was wanted on outstanding warrants charging domestic violence and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

        Neither Mr. Dodson nor his estranged wife, whose name was not released, has been living at their home. But the woman told township police that she was worried about her safety.

        Officers Chris Anderson and Rick Heimpold knew of the outstanding warrants when they saw Mr. Dodson driving away from the home at about 7:40 a.m.

        They began pursuing him, driving north on Mill Road. About a quarter mile away, Mr. Dodson ran from his car, rushing through several back yards before looping back toward his home. Police called Mr. Dodson's wife, who gave them permission to enter the house.

        Mr. Dodson, who had a set of keys, had let himself inside and was hiding in a crawl space. Knowing that the police were present, Mr. Dodson stepped out from beneath the stairwell and shot himself in the right eye, police said. The bullet entered the left eye area as well.

        Neighbors said they have called for police several times because of the Dodsons' arguments. In recent weeks, Mr. Dodson has told them that he has leukemia and planned to move to New Jersey.


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