Thomas Joyce (Courtesy Butler County Sheriff's Office)
Suspect Thomas Joyce was arrested in Over the Rhine
EVENDALE, OH (FOX19) - Ohio State Patrol, West Chester Police, Lockland Police, and University Hospital held a press conference Monday afternoon to update the condition of the officer struck during a chase and relay the latest information in the investigation of Monday's accident.
Ohio State Patrol says that Brandon Gehring was attempting to place the stop sticks when he was hit. Investigators are looking at where he was standing when he was struck and what lane the West Chester officer was driving. They expect it to take some time to investigate the accident.
The stop sticks were deployed but they were ineffective at stopping the vehicle.
OSP says that Officer Gehring was struck with the left front (driver's side) of the West Chester police vehicle, just behind the turn signal.
The chief trauma doctor at the hospital says that Officer Gehring has injuries to his shoulder, chest, fractured ribs, lung damage, and spinal column injuries. He is currently heavily sedated and listed in critical condition. ICU technicians are stationed at his bedside.
His family has asked that more information not be released on Officer Gehring's condition.
The suspect, Thomas Joyce, is being held in the Butler County Jail. He will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.
Joyce has a criminal past that includes robbery last year in Butler County, In June of 2000, he was charged in Hamilton County, but never indicted with receiving stolen property and having firearms in a motor vehicle. He also has a number of traffic offenses.
Southbound Interstate 75 is has reopened after an officer was struck during a police chase.
It all started just before 6 a.m. when Thomas Joyce, 32, stole prescription medicine at gunpoint from the Walgreen's in West Chester.
Police began to chase Joyce down I-75. Officer Brandon Gehring, 23, with the Lockland Police Department was outside of his vehicle attempting to lay down stop sticks near the Glendale Milford Road exit and was struck by Officer Kevin Burger with West Chester Police Department.
Police say Officer Gehring is in critical condition at University Hospital. Gehring has been with the Lockland Police Department for two years. Burger has been with West Chester police for five years.
The suspect continued the chase before getting off the 5th Street exit in downtown Cincinnati. He was caught at Clifton and Vine Streets and placed into custody.
Joyce is charged with aggravated robbery, failure to comply and OVI.
"We are in contact with the Lockland Police Department and our thoughts and prayers are focused on the officers and families that have been affected by this incident," said West Chester Police Chief Erik Niehaus.
Police shut down southbound I-75 at Glendale Milford Road for much of the morning. The interstate reopened just after 11 a.m.
A press conference is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at University Hospital to update the situation.