STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF)
UPDATE (2:15 PM) – According to and confirmed by Steubenville City Manager, James Mavromatis, the incident began at 8:20 AM, 1/24/2020. The escapee, Richard Schoonover, had spent one night in Trinity Hospital. Police followed policy by taking Schoonover to the hospital, and a doctor there determined Schoonover stay overnight. Two Steubenville police offers were present with Schoonover.
Though it is still under investigation how Schoonover got away, it is believed that he escaped through a side door of the floor he was on. Schoonover then commandeered a physician’s vehicle who was arriving at work on Johnson Road. The doctor and Schoonover came into contact in the cancer wing through an exit doctor. The doctor worked in the cancer center. There were no injuries to the doctor. Schoonover tried to keep the doctor in the vehicle but the doctor escaped and threw his keys in the car then Schoonover drove away.
At first, police didn’t know if Schoonover was armed or if there were other people with him, creating a hostage situation. It was determined there were no hostages, no immediate danger, and he was alone. The initial tip came from Schoonover himself that he had a firearm and hostage.
Police found the stolen car after receiving a tip from a citizen where Richard Schoonover was walking and ultimately also learned Schoonover entered a house. It was believed at first that people were in that house and that he also had a weapon in his possession. Thanks to tips from individuals residing in the area, law enforcement quickly determined this all to be false. There were no hostages or weapons in the structure. Police were able to track down the people that live in the house Schoonover entered, and they were not in the residence at the time.
Negotiators talked to Schoonover, eventually gained entry into the structure, and took him back into custody. Police found him on South 3rd street in Steubenville, and the entire incident was resolved by 9:30 AM. A thorough investigation is still necessary to know the details of how the entire incident played out from start to finish, and how he was able to escape.
UPDATE (12:04 PM) – Police have arrested Richard Schoonover who escaped from Trinity Hospital without incident this morning.
Police called Schoonover a career criminal.
Schoonover was arrested two days ago on burglary charges and receiving stolen property.
Schoonover was taken to the hospital complaining about medical issues.
After being captured Schoonover was taken back to Trinity hospital for treatment.
Police say the matter is still under investigation.
UPDATE (10:07 AM) – Laurie Labishak, Trinity spokesperson, has confirmed that a physician was carjacked by an escaped prisoner on Johnson Rd in a construction building parking lot.
Labishak stated that the physician was not injured during the carjacking.
The escapee was on the 5th floor at Trinity hospital where Stuebenville police were doing a forensic investigation.
The prisoner was able to exit the room, not seen by police, and was able to use the back stairwell to go outside.
Labishak stated the prisoner was not a patient of the cancer center.
ORIGINAL – There is a police presence at Trinity Hospital after a prisoner has escaped.
According to Trinity spokesperson, Laurie Labishak, the prisoner was brought to the cancer center for treatment.
The prisoner was able to steal a physician’s vehicle from the parking lot.
7News is on route to the scene and will update the story when more information is provided
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