May 28, 2016

Mostly clear

4-hour standoff ends

Staff Writer

WADSWORTH — Police officers and SWAT team members from throughout Medina County attempted to negotiate with an armed city man in an hours-long standoff at his home Thursday night.

The four-hour incident ended with the arrest of John Warrington, 48, of 376 Broad St.

At 7:18 p.m. Thursday a female called Wadsworth emergency dispatch to report a domestic dispute at her 376 Broad St. home. Before the call ended the woman reported that a man involved in the dispute “walked out” of the home.

Wadsworth police reported that when they arrived on scene Warrington was outside the house with a shotgun.

Above, incident commanders, including Wadsworth Director of Public Safety Matthew G. Hiscock (left), Medina County Sheriff Neil Hassinger (second from left), Deputy Jeff Kulbis (second from right), Sgt. Jim Foraker (seated) and Wadsworth Police Chief David Singleton (right), examine digital images of the house in which an individual holed up for almost four hours Thursday (Andrew Dolph | Staff Photographer). Below, a member of the tactical unit in Wadsworth arrives at the scene. (Shirley Ware | Photo Editor)

Others who were inside the house left when police arrived. At presstime, it was not known how many people were in the house before the standoff began. “They probably left voluntarily,” reported Lt. Robert Wyrick of the Wadsworth Police Department.

Warrington eventually went into the house’s garage with the gun, while officers stood outside and attempted to communicate.

Nearby houses were evacuated by police. Those in homes that were not evacuated were told to stay inside through the use of reverse 911 phone calls, the Wadsworth Police Department reported.

Police departments from Medina, Montville Township and Seville, Medina County SWAT, Wadsworth EMS and Medina LST all responded in addition to the Wadsworth Police Department.

Wadsworth’s victim crisis coordinator stayed with Warrington’s family near the scene

When Medina County SWAT reached the scene, they took over along with Wadsworth SWAT.

They threw Warrington a throw phone — a phone that is thrown onto a scene to gain communication with the subject. The phone, however, was apparently not used.

Sheriff Neil Hassinger reported that communications were made from outside the garage through a window. A release from the Wadsworth Police Department reported Warrington was “not cooperating with the SWAT negotiators.”

Just before 11 p.m., the words “Go, go, go,” were heard from the SWAT team members over the police scanner and moments later they said, “We’ve got him.” Warrington was in custody.

A crowd had gathered to watch the scene a few blocks down the street from the Warrington home. Some watched for hours, even though they couldn’t see the house from behind the blockade line police set up.

Rumors quickly flew among the group and many believed it was a hostage situation.

“We’ve been here since about 8:30,” said Susan Carver of Wadsworth. Warrington, she explained, is a distant cousin of her son, Brandyn, on his paternal side.

Brandyn watched as the police coordinated their efforts. The SWAT team “sprinted across the road while squatting and carrying guns,” said Brandyn, 15.

Jeff Eby of Wadsworth said he tried to get through the police lines. “We snuck up through the back yards,” he said. He said he saw through Warrington’s window as Warrington left the garage and walked into his home to get a glass of water. He then returned to the garage.

Shortly after, the police found Eby and ordered him back down the street.

Some residents were stuck outside the police lines as the standoff went on.

“I just want my house,” Megan French of Wadsworth exclaimed with her hands thrown in the air. She returned home from her job at Giant Eagle to find the police line and a cruiser parked in her driveway. She had to wait in the parking lot of a nearby church until after the standoff ended.

Kacik may be reached at 330-721-4049 or