Warren cops investigated for allowing armed suspect in cruiser - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren cops investigated for allowing armed suspect in cruiser

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WARREN, Ohio - The Warren Police Department is investigating the actions taken by three police officers during a weekend arrest in which a suspect was allowed inside a cruiser with a gun.

Lt. Dan Mason confirmed that the department was looking into the incident that occurred early Sunday morning. According to a police report, officers Brian Martinek, Peter Gornitas and Eric Laprochina responded to a burglary at 2136 Peace Street around 1:45 a.m. After speaking with a victim, officers questioned and then arrested two suspects, one being a juvenile, at the scene. One of the suspects, 19-year-old Jamil Lowe, was placed into the rear of a cruiser.

Martinek stated that he did not pat Lowe down before placing him in the cruiser because he was already placed in a cruiser earlier and had been handcuffed for 10 minutes prior. 

During the ride to the station, police stated in the report that Lowe started fidgeting in the back of the car and coughing, saying he was sick. At one point, officers reported hearing a loud "thud" in the back.

When officers pulled up to the Trumbull County Jail, Martinek opened the cruiser's rear door and found a handgun on the floor of the cruiser. Martinek stated in the report that he had checked the car prior to placing Lowe inside and found no weapon; however, Lowe denied that the gun was his, stating that he was patted down earlier.

But the second suspect contradicted Lowe's claims, telling officers at the jail that he knew where the they got the gun. In response, Lowe was then charged with carrying a concealed weapon, in addition to an aggravated burglary charge for both suspects.

Lt. Mason said that no action has been taken yet as the department continues the investigation but said that more than likely, the incident was the result of a tactical error and not police negligence.

Stay connected with wfmj.com and 21 News for more on this developing story.




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