June 25, 2016

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Accused bank robber released from jail because of health

MEDINA — A 71-year-old Hinckley Township man accused of robbing a Brunswick bank in February will be released from the Medina County Jail because of his deteriorating health.

Hugh G. Crouch Sr., of 1439 Ridge Road, was being held in the jail on $2 million bond, charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; felonious assault, a second-degree felony; failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fourth-degree felony.

Hugh Crouch

Police said Crouch robbed almost $30,000 from Huntington Bank, 3630 Center Road, and led officers in a high-speed chase into Medina, where his pickup was stopped after sideswiping a police cruiser on North Court Street.

Crouch is expected to be released later this week to his Ridge Road home, where he will be under house arrest and cared for by his adult daughter, Tia Crouch, who is a nursing aide, and her brother and boyfriend.

“He knows who I am, but I’d still have to feed him and take him to the bathroom,” Tia Crouch told Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler at a Monday hearing. “I’m just glad he’ll be with us. It means something being with family.”

Kimbler issued the furlough under three conditions: Crouch will be placed under house arrest, he will not have access to any keys, and he only may leave the premises for medical treatment.

Crouch’s attorney, Bob Campbell, said his client’s health began deteriorating after he was arrested.

“When I was first assigned to Mr. Crouch, he could walk down to visitation on his own,” Campbell said. “He’s in a much, much worse condition now.”

Psychiatric nurse Tom Huggins, who works at the Sheriff’s Office, told Kimbler, “He can’t even stand on his own anymore. Frankly, I think he’s going to continue to decline.”

Crouch has dementia and other serious ailments, said his wife, Carol Crouch.

While in jail, she said he was admitted to the hospital to address those problems and was discharged about two weeks ago. Since then, she said he’s been weak and delirious.

“He’s laying in a hospital bed in a jail practically ready to die,” Carol Crouch said. “The jail is not facilitated to take care of a patient like that.”

Because of her husband’s condition, she accused the Sheriff’s Office of “senior abuse.”

Sheriff Tom Miller said his office was doing the best it could: He hired additional nursing staff and placed some personnel on overtime to monitor the man’s care.

“We’re following an individually prescribed care plan for Mr. Crouch,” Miller said, “and are cognizant in providing him the best possible care.”

Miller was hesitant to give details, citing privacy laws, but said he personally checked on Crouch twice Monday to assess his condition.

At the hearing, county Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said he had to oppose the request for furlough.

“This causes the state a lot of concern,” he said, pointing to the severity of Crouch’s charges. “Absent someone saying he’s incapable of doing it again, the state is uncomfortable releasing him.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.