Perrysburg Police Chief Tells Officers to Stand Down During Hostage-Shots Fired Situation

By Faye Higbee

Perrysburg, Ohio Police Department is now under investigation after their police chief, Daniel Paez, told officers to stand down during a shooting and hostage situation back in August. Blue Lives Matter reported the depth of the problem in a report.

Perrysburg has a mutual aid agreement with Perrysburg Township, a short distance away.  These types of agreements mean that when the smaller department needs help for whatever reason, they can trust that the larger department will come to their aid (and vice versa). Having their backs, if you will. But Chief Paez  was caught on video demanding his officers leave the scene and not assist the smaller department…and his reason was pure baloney.

The Incident – 2:14 p.m. August 27, 2018

Perrysburg Township police stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The driver was found to be in possession of mariuana. While he was being arrested, one of the passengers slid behind the wheel and took off. The arresting officer notified dispatch to ask Perryburg City for help.

“I said notify Perrysburg City – and once I say that, no matter what, that’s a request for assistance. That was about 15 minutes before the shooting.” Lieutenant Matt Gazarek, Perrysburg Township

After the driver let out his other passenger, he fled into Perrysburg City and then back into Perrysburg Township. Perrysburg City officers spotted the vehicle while in their jurisdiction and gave chase, then lost him again. They continued to look for him.

The suspect then drove off the road and into a bean field, with  Township police right behind him. Dispatch again asked the City for help. The driver crashed his car into a ditch and took off on foot, firing his gun at officers behind him. They returned fire. He then ran through the yard of an elderly man whose grandson was with him. The suspect initially held a gun to the elderly man’s head, then grabbed the grandson and tried to reach a golf cart nearby.

By then, Perrysburg City dispatch was notifying their officers of the hostage situation and the shots fired.

So now you have 1) fleeing felon, 2) assault with a deadly weapon on officers and civilians, and 3) hostage situation…a definite need for mutual aid.

Township officers shot the suspect. That meant three of them could not be used to secure the crime scene – protocol fo rofficer involved shootings. The Perrysburg City officers offered to help.  They assisted the Township in securing the scene, taping it off, assuring the no one touched the suspect’s firearm, and removing the officers involved in the shooting.

Then the video shows the Chief keying his microphone and demanding his officers return to the city. Then he angrily demanded they leave the scene and return to the city. He never engaged the incident commander, or even walked to the scene. He stood  far away from it.

The city police were pulled from the scene, leaving a female officer by herself with the medic. They were not happy about it because they wanted to do their jobs.

According to ABC13,

Issues have been raised after Perrysburg city officers spotted the suspect who fled from Perrysburg township officers. Perrysburg city officers gave chase on Fremont Pike. After officers lost the suspect, Perrysburg city officers continued to look for the suspect

When the suspect got out of his car in Perrysburg Township, police radio calls indicated shots were fired and that a hostage was taken. At that time, Perrysburg city officers were told not to leave the city until mutual aid was requested. …

After a few minutes of radio traffic, Perrysburg city officers do go to the scene on Neiderhouse Road.

When at the scene, Perrysburg city officers are seen on tape offering assistance and helping fellow officers.

Perrysburg Police chief Dan Paez arrives at the scene and orders his officers back to their cars. He tells two of the officers to go “back to the office.”

Perrysburg Mayor Tom Mackin has asked for an investigation into if proper procedures were followed in this instance. He’s asked the Lucas County Sheriff’s office to do that investigation.

Listen to this video:

“Chief Paez ordered his officers to stand down as the shots were being fired and the suspect was taking hostage. Those officers could have died that day. The hostages could have died that day… but for the grace of God, nobody else was killed. I don’t think that the chief’s actions were just a violation of the mutual aid agreement, I think it was a dereliction of duty.” Perrysburg City councilman Haraz Ghanbari  to Blue Lives Matter

Dereliction of duty is a criminal violation in Ohio. As well it should be.

When the Chief was asked about his actions, he said,

“The reason I pulled our people is not because I was denying help. It was out of fear that we had some inexperienced officers that were on the inner perimeter of that crime scene.” Daniel Paez

We call b.s. on that statement.  Let’s call it control, and fear all rolled into one. This Chief has done it before.

“Their officers are fine officers and they are more than capable of backing us up. We know that. They’re more than capable of being [officers] and doing this job. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be police officers. But they’re held back and we feel that we can’t count on them to back us up because of their chief.” Lt Gazarek

Featured photo: screenshot via Blue Lives Matter