Hugh G. Crouch doesn’t fit the profile of a bank robber. But police said that’s just what the 70-year-old Hinckley Township man did Tuesday afternoon.
Crouch was arrested Tuesday after police said he robbed a Brunswick bank and led police on a high-speed chase through half of Medina County, sideswiping a police cruiser in the city of Medina.
He abandoned his pickup in Montville Township and was captured after a brief foot chase about 1:30 p.m.
Brunswick police spokesman Nick Solar said Crouch went to Huntington Bank, 3630 Center Road, and demanded money.
Solar said Crouch did not show a weapon. A teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money.
The bank alerted police at 1:13 p.m. Solar said officers arrived within minutes, in time to see Crouch pulling out of the bank parking lot in a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado and began a pursuit.
The chase was on.
Crouch sped east on Center Road, south on Interstate 71 to the state Route 3 exit, Solar said. He continued south on Route 3, then west on Fenn Road and south on Pearl Road (U.S. Route 42), where speeds hit between 65 and 70 mph, according to a police dispatcher.
After crossing the Medina city limits, where Pearl Road becomes North Court Street, Crouch sideswiped a Brunswick police cruiser that tried to cut him off at an intersection, Solar said.
Five Brunswick cruisers participated in the chase, in addition to cruisers from the Ohio Highway Patrol, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, and Medina and Montville Township police.
The pack of cruisers followed Crouch as he drove through the center of Medina and turned onto East Smith Road, a block south of Public Square.
No one was injured in the chase, but some motorists reported close calls.
Amy Brandon was westbound on East Smith Road with her 83-year-old mother, Shirley Yuko, when she saw flashing lights coming toward her.
“I had already stopped and pulled over, and then the black truck came into my lane,” Brandon said. “He swerved around me and missed me by inches, if that,” she said.
Because another car had stopped on the other side of the road for the flashing lights, Brandon said the truck had to cut into her lane just feet in front of her to swerve around the other stopped car.
“It was really scary because he was going so fast,” she said. “I didn’t even realize they were chasing someone until he was in my lane swerving across.”
Brandon said her mother, Yuko, was especially frightened.
“You pull over when you see lights, you just assume you can make space for them and you’re going to be safe,” she said. “It never occurred to me there might be someone ahead of all those cars.”
Solar said Crouch pulled over and jumped from his truck on East Smith Road, just west of River Styx Road, in Montville Township. After a brief chase, he was arrested by officers at 3785 E. Smith Road.
Money from the bank was recovered from the truck.
Solar said that Crouch was charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. The case will be presented to a grand jury and more charges are expected.
Crouch has no previous felony record, according to a check of common pleas court records in Medina, Cuyahoga, Summit and Lorain counties.
The arrest was a shock to a long-time neighbor of Crouch.
Karl Kuenzer Jr., who lived next door to Crouch at 1489 Ridge Road for more than 15 years, said the news was a “total surprise.”
“I wouldn’t have expected that out of him,” Kuenzer said.
Kuenzer said Crouch owned more than 20 residential rental properties in Cleveland.
“He had a few double houses up there and with the help of the city, they were all renovated,” Kuenzer said.
“I can’t believe it happened because he was pretty well off financially,” Kuenzer said.
According the county auditor records, Crouch and his wife live in a two-story, four-bedroom home valued at $129,100 next to Hinckley Township Hall at Ridge and Center roads.
Kuenzer said Crouch had grown children.
Crouch was transferred to the Medina County jail.
Reporters Steve Grazier and Kiera Manion-Fischer contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or email@example.com.