Man leads Geauga County deputies in pursuit through roads, woods, swamps, fields

Zachary Paul Kolasinski
Zachary Paul Kolasinski(Geauga County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:37 PM EST
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GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A man with an “extensive criminal history” is behind bars after leading deputies in two counties in a pursuit on the road, in the woods, through swamps, and across fields, the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

Sheriff Scott A. Hildenbrand said the GCSO was requested to assist the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office around 1 a.m. on Jan. 11 with a vehicle pursuit that continued into Geauga County on Phillips Road in Thompson Township.

Geauga deputies who arrived on scene were told that the two males in the car had driven into the woods and ran off, according to Hildenbrand.

Hildenbrand said Geauga deputies established a perimeter while Ashtabula deputies continued to pursue the suspects.

Ashtabula deputies called off the search after about 2.5 hours and cleared the scene, Hildenbrand said.

According to Hildenbrand, Geauga deputies continued to actively patrol and search for the two suspects throughout the morning.

The sheriff’s office dispatch center got a call from a resident in the 6800 block of Ledge Road around 4 a.m. stating a male was at his door claiming his car broke down and asked to use the phone, Hildenbrand described.

When the resident told the male he would call the sheriff’s office, the male took off, according to Hildenbrand.

Geauga deputies in the area started tracking the male’s footprints in the snow, but the trail was lost near the baseball fields off SR-528, Hildenbrand said.

Hildenbrand said deputies patrolling the area around 8:30 a.m. were told that hunters came across a male in the woods who fit the description of one of the suspects.

When the hunters approached the male, he ran off and went to a house on Rock Creek Road, according to Hildenbrand.

The suspect told the homeowner his car broke down, and the homeowner let him use her phone on the condition that he make the call in her garage, Hildenbrand said.

According to Hildenbrand, a Thompson Township Police officer pulled into the driveway while the suspect was in the garage calling for a ride, prompting the suspect to break out of the garage window and run away into the woods.

Hildenbrand said about 15 deputies and K-9 units, the county drone team, Thompson Township Police, ODOT, and members of the US Marshals Task Force tracked the suspect for several hours through several miles of woods, swamps, and fields before he was apprehended on Barrett Road just outside of Geauga County.

The investigation lead authorities to determine that the suspect broke into two cars, a barn, and tried to gain entry into a home while attempting to escape, according to Hildenbrand.

The suspect was taken to University Hospitals in Geauga before being transferred to the Geauga County Safety Center, Hildenbrand said.

The Geauga County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect with “an extensive criminal history as 34-year-old Zachary Paul Kolasinski from Kingsville.

Hildenbrand confirmed Kolasinski was charged with the following:

  • breaking and entering
  • possession of illegal drugs (acid)
  • illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility

Kolasinski will face additional charges that will be filed at a later date, according to Hildenbrand.

He is being held in the Geauga County Jail on a $10,000 cash/surety bond, however, he has holds from Ashtabula County and the Adult Parole Authority, Hildenbrand said.

Hildenbrand confirmed the second suspect was not located.

However, authorities determined that a Thompson Road resident allowed him to use her phone before he was picked up around 5:30 a.m., according to Hildenbrand.

Hildenbrand shared the following statement:

“As Sheriff, I would like to thank all of the agencies involved, the residents who provided information about the suspects, as well as recognize the tremendous dedication my deputies and dispatchers displayed in order to successfully apprehend the suspect and keep Geauga County Safe!”

Zachary Paul Kolasinski
Zachary Paul Kolasinski(Geauga County Sheriff's Office)

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