ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Ashtabula County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Speedway after a store clerk was threatened with a knife early Thursday morning.

Deputies were dispatched to 2309 N. Ridge E. at about 1:30 a.m. for a report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, the female clerk said a white man entered the store at about 1:15 a.m. and asked to use the restroom. 

Once the store was clear of any customers, he emerged from the restroom and approached the clerk, engaging in casual conversation. The suspect made his way behind the counter and placed the clerk in a rear choke hold. He told her he had a knife and demanded money.

After a brief struggle, she gave him the money from the cash register and he fled on foot, heading west on Route 20. A customer entering the store chased after him, but the suspect ran into the woods.

Deputies and the Ohio State Highway Patrol patrolled the area, to no avail. 

A short time later, county dispatch received a report of a suspicious male hiding in a yard on Fargo Drive. Deputies searched the area and eventually found a white male matching the suspect’s description at the intersection of Route 20 and Fargo Drive.

When deputies questioned the suspect, he walked away from them, prompting an attempt to detain him. While being placed in handcuffs, the suspect became combative and fled west. The deputy gave chase and caught up to him. After a brief struggle, the deputy gained control of the suspect until backup arrived to help. 

The suspect was placed under arrest and driven back to Speedway, where the store clerk positively identified him.

The suspect, whose name is not being released until after he’s arraigned in Ashtabula Municipal Court, is being held in the Ashtabula County Jail in Jefferson. Charges include aggravated robbery, petty theft, assault, obstructing official business and resisting arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is ongoing.

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