PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - More footage of the events that rattled Painesville on Saturday is being uncovered after a driver crashed his SUV into several cars and gas station pumps before threatening responding deputies as the car went up in flames, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Daniel Bachnicki said the man driving a Black Rainer SUV was stationary in the GetGo parking lot on 1251 Mentor Ave. in Painesville before speeding up and intentionally ramming into a gas pump at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday.
The SUV dislodged the gas pump from the ground and continued pushing it in a northeast direction across the parking lot before hitting a Ford pick-up truck that was fueling up at another pump, according to Lt. Bachnicki.
The lieutenant said two adults and a child were in the truck.
According to Bachnicki, the intentional collision forced the pick-up truck into the gas pump it was filling up from as the other pump that was intentionally dislodged became wedged under the pick-up, causing a fire to immediately ignite and consume the truck.
Bachnicki said everyone in the truck was able to escape without getting hurt.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office shared surveillance footage of this first part of the ordeal.
The Lake County Sheriff Department identified the driver of the Buick on Monday as Michael Craig, who was arraigned in court Monday.
His charges include misdemeanor menacing and a host of felonies ranging from assault to arson, vandalism and inciting panic.
Judge Paul Malchesky set his bond at $3 million on Monday.
“He’s got an extensive record,” Malchesky said. “We have lots of victims, lots of potential victims.”
Craig’s public defender requested $5,000 bond.
Craig continued across the parking lot toward Mentor Avenue when it hit a car, according to the report.
The Buick then hit another car as it got on Mentor Avenue that was headed eastbound before continuing north across Mentor Avenue, according to Bachnicki.
The lieutenant said the Buick then went off the north side of the roadway, crashed into a chain link fence, and caught on fire from all the impacts.
He added several bystanders approached Craig to help before he threatened that he “had a gun and would shoot and kill everyone.”
Suschak then arrived two minutes after the initial dispatch.
Craig then told deputies that he had a gun and would shoot and kill as he tried to run away, according to the report.
Bachnicki said Craig then pointed what appeared to be a gun toward responding deputies, refused to comply, and “continued to taunt and threaten deputies even though he was still sitting in a flaming vehicle.”
He then crawled out the driver’s side window while still holding what appeared to be a gun in his hands, according to the report.
After a brief standoff at the side of the flaming SUV, deputies saw he was actually holding a pair of pliers in a way to make everyone think it was a gun, according to Lt. Bachnicki.
Chief Deputy Jeff Sherwood said the deputies “were able to gain control of the suspect with the use of a less than lethal beanbag round and taser.”
After he was incapacitated by the taser and secured, deputies then pulled him to safety as flames engulfed the SUV, according to Lt. Bachnicki.
Craig suffered lacerations and burns on his leg was brought to TriPoint Medical Center for treatment, according to the lieutenant.
Lt. Bachnicki said he was medically cleared and booked into Lake County Jail.
Officials said one other person was taken to the TriPoint Medical Center as a precaution.
Jake Palinsky of Madison said he was just making a quick trip to Giant Eagle when he got stuck in the middle of the chaos that ensued after the crash, which he caught all on camera.
The chief deputy said no deputies were injured in this incident.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said anyone who witnessed and recorded the events that unfolded and has information and video that could assist with the investigation is urged to call Lt. Bachnicki at 440-350-5565.
Giant Eagle, which owns and operates GetGo stations, released the following statement to 19 News:
“At GetGo, the safety of our customers and Team Members is our top priority. Our Painesville GetGo location reopened hours after the unfortunate incident took place this weekend. At this time, the majority of our gas pumps are up and running for the convenience of our customers.”