Suspects accused in chase that killed Ohio police officer identified by authorities

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 1:12 PM EDT
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LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Friday released the names of the suspects accused in the high speed chase that killed a Bluffton, Ohio police officer in the line of duty Thursday morning.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Friday released the names of the suspects accused in the...
The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Friday released the names of the suspects accused in the high-speed chase that killed a Bluffton, Ohio police officer in the line of duty Thursday morning.(Source: Mugshots for Emin Johnson, Zachary Love provided by Hancock County Justice Center; Dante Tate mugshot from Medina County Jail)

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Emin Johnson and Zachary Love are incarcerated at the Hancock County Justice Center, while Dante Tate is behind bars at the Medina County Jail.

Authorities said Bluffton Police Officer Dominic Francis died after being hit by the suspect’s vehicle on I-75 in Hancock County.

Bluffton Police Department Officer Dominic Francis was killed March 31 in a high speed chase,...
Bluffton Police Department Officer Dominic Francis was killed March 31 in a high speed chase, according to authorities.(Source: blufftonicon.com)

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bruce Neihiser said Officer Francis was setting up stop sticks because there was an ongoing high-speed chase involving the suspect’s vehicle.

The incident began around 2 a.m. Thursday after troopers spotted a speeding vehicle and decided to pursue.

Officer Francis was hit around 2:30 a.m. After the crash, authorities said the three suspects fled on foot.

Then the suspects then allegedly stole a Toyota Prius from a home in Hancock County. One suspect was arrested near the home where the Prius was stolen, according to authorities.

Several hours later, a trooper spotted the stolen Prius on I-71 in Medina County and began a pursuit.

The suspect’s vehicle was then chased through multiple counties, and at times, authorities said speeds reached over 100 MPH.

According to authorities, the chase ended around 8:15 a.m. Thursday in Eaton Township, Lorain County.

A second suspect was quickly taken into custody at the scene and the third suspect was arrested around 12:50 p.m. Thursday, troopers said.

Officer Francis, 41, is described as someone who had a “heart of gold” and was very involved in the community, also working as a coach, teacher and bus driver.

Officer Francis spent 19 years in law enforcement, the last nine with the Bluffton Police Department.

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