POLICE BODY cameras captured a chaotic scene at a Cleveland-area convenience store after a man drove his car through the front of the store and barricaded himself in a walk-in cooler.
According to local press reports Convenience Mart in Rocky River, Ohio, had just closed in the early hours when a black Dodge Challenger smashed its way through the security bollards at around 40 miles per hour and crashed through the front window. Police arrived to find the car parked in the store with its hazards on, the store clerk trapped beneath debris, and no driver. The clerk told officers the driver got out, told the clerk that he needed a beer, and then wandered into the walk-in cooler.
Officers found the driver barricaded inside the cooler. A tense standoff ensued with the agitated, confused man, who dared the cops to shoot him. Police learned he was suffering PTSD-related issues from his military service and job with the Federal Protective Service.
“The conversation he was having with the police was deranged, consistent with somebody who was going through a mental crisis,” RRPD Chief Kelly Stillman told WJW.
Eventually, an officer was able to use a taser on the man, who put up a fight but was eventually subdued. He faces charges that include DUI and reckless driving.
Thankfully, the store clerk escaped relatively unscathed. His life was saved by a deli case that absorbed the impact of the car and sheltered him from falling debris.
“Had the car been over a couple more feet, he was hurt, it could have been serious bodily injury, even possibly death. I mean that’s a four, five thousand pound automobile coming at 30, 40 miles an hour. He was lucky, very lucky,” said Chief Stillman.