June 27, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Man in fair condition after shot in head at Medina park

At Medina’s Ray Mellert Park, only a patch of grass separates this basketball court from the parking lot where police say a man was shot Tuesday about 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon, a group of teenagers played a pickup game at the court. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

At Medina’s Ray Mellert Park, only a patch of grass separates this basketball court from the parking lot where police say a man was shot Tuesday about 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon, a group of teenagers played a pickup game at the court. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Nick Glunt and Loren Genson | The Gazette

A 22-year-old Cleveland man was arrested Tuesday night in Brunswick, accused of shooting a man in Medina’s Ray Mellert Park and forcing a woman at gunpoint to drive him out of town.

Greg Prince is charged with felonious assault and kidnapping.

Greg Prince

Greg Prince

Medina police said Prince used a .22-caliber revolver to shoot Jose Algarin, 32, of Medina, in the back right side of his head about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Algarin was driven to Medina Hospital by his girlfriend’s brother, David Conley, and transported via helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Police said Algarin was shot while walking through the park’s parking lot near Foundry Street. Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said police still are investigating the motive.

A hospital spokeswoman said Algarin was in fair condition Wednesday afternoon. Police reported he was scheduled for surgery Wednesday to have the bullet removed from his skull.

Police said Prince fled to his cousin’s home at Union Square Apartments on West Union Street, adjacent to the park. His cousin, Diamond Glenn, reported Prince told her he had just shot someone and forced her at gunpoint to drive him away.

Glenn used a cell phone to contact another family member, Eric Simpkins, while she drove Prince in her car.

Simpkins succeeded in talking Prince into surrendering and said he would meet them at the McDonald’s restaurant in Brunswick.

Simpkins then called police and said Prince was a suspect in a shooting and had agreed to surrender at the restaurant, reports said.

Brunswick police officers arrived at the restaurant about 9:20 p.m. and were met by Simpkins, who was standing at the front of the parking lot. He told officers he had gotten Prince to give up his handgun and had secured the weapon in the trunk of his car.

Simpkins then pointed to the car, where Prince was sitting. Glenn was seen waiting inside the restaurant.

Police said they approached Prince and took him into custody without incident.

When Medina police arrived, they recovered a Rohm .22-caliber revolver from the trunk of Simpkins’ car.

Police spoke with Glenn who said she was not injured.

Residents of the neighborhood near Mellert Park said the shooting raises fears for the children who play in the park.

“I live not even 100 or 150 yards away from where this happened,” said Councilman Brian Hilberg, who represents the city’s Ward 1. “I have twin 2-year-old girls and it’s shocking. I don’t even know what else to say.”

Hilberg said he and other city leaders have been working hard to crack down on violent crime and asked the community to keep the families of the victim in their prayers.

“This is the kind of thing we’re trying to stop, but I don’t have a magic answer as to how to stop it,” he said.

The Rev. C.P. Carter of Second Baptist Church on Bronson Street, just south of Mellert Park, praised the work of city officials in working to combat crime in the city’s Ward 1, and said he believes the shooting is an isolated incident.

“It’s a nice park and the city has dedicated a lot of resources to it. It’s used by many families and children and neighborhood groups,” Carter said. “I don’t think incidents like this speak to the kind of people who live here and make Ward 1 their home.”

Carter said he hopes children and families feel comfortable returning to the park and neighborhood, but urged families to always be mindful of the situations in which they put their children and family.

“Incidents like this remind us we can’t take life for granted anywhere,” he said.

Prince was booked into the Medina County Jail, where he’s being held without bond. He is set for arraignment this morning in Medina Municipal Court.

Prince has no record in Medina County Common Pleas Court, but has pending charges of carrying concealed weapons and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle in Cuyahoga County.

The shooting is the second in Medina County this year. On March 20, Martez Hope, 22, of Brunswick, was shot in the chest on state Route 18, near the Interstate 71 interchange, in Medina Township. Hope remains in critical condition.

Police have said they believe that shooting was drug-related.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.