September 1, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
69°F

More tests sought for alleged bank robber

MEDINA — Prosecutors are asking for additional psychological evaluations of an ailing 71-year-old man they say robbed a bank on Feb. 19.

Since Hugh G. Crouch Sr. was arrested that day, two psychiatrists have performed tests on him. Both have said his condition was grim, and one said Thursday in court that he was so sick she couldn’t even perform the evaluation.

Crouch, of 1439 Ridge Road, Hinckley Township, has liver disease, dementia and other ailments. Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler issued Crouch a furlough in June so his daughter, a nursing aide, could care for him at home.

Charges against Crouch would be dropped if he’s found incompetent, but he could remain under the judge’s jurisdiction for up to 11 years. If he recovered during that time, charges could be revisited.

If convicted, he could face more than 20 years in prison.

Crouch is charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; felonious assault, a second-degree felony; failure to obey a police officer, a third-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fourth-degree felony.

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

A psychiatrist, Galit Askenazi, said she evaluated Crouch in June, days after he was furloughed.

“He could not even speak or write in responses to my questions,” Askenazi said.

Crouch’s illnesses are likely terminal, Askenazi said.

County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said Askenazi hadn’t seen Crouch since June, so he couldn’t know whether he had gotten better or worse. Razavi said he didn’t know either because he didn’t have any of Crouch’s medical records since June.

The judge agreed.

“I’m not in the position to say whether he’s competent until Dr. Askenazi can see those medical records,” Kimbler said.

Crouch will remain at home under the care of his daughter until a decision is reached, Kimbler said.

Carol Crouch said she was upset the court proceedings weren’t moving faster for her husband.

“He’s not doing well,” she said.

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