Police nab fleeing convict

Less than a month after being released from the Lorain Correctional Institution, a Sandusky man allegedly ran from police, ditched a pistol then wound up back behind bars.
Emil Whitis
Apr 2, 2013


Rico Brown, 25, was charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing official business, defacing identification marks of a firearm and carrying concealed weapons. 

It all started at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when police tried to stop a veering Oldsmobile in the 1800 block of W. Monroe St. 

Instead of stopping, the car turned left onto Putnam Street then left onto Barker Street, disregarding a stop sign at the corner, according to a Sandusky police report. 

Police sounded the siren as the vehicle accelerated down Barker Street. The Oldsmobile screeched to a halt. The driver and a passenger jumped out and made a break for it. 

“While in pursuit, I observed the subject in the red hat reaching for an item from the front of his pants and then presented, what appeared to be a small-caliber pistol in his right hand,” a report said. 

As the officer gave chase, his radio fell from its holster and wrapped around his legs. 

“At this point, due to the subject in the gray hoodie brandishing a firearm and being unaware of the other subject’s location or if he also was in a possession of a firearm, I discontinued the foot pursuit,” a report said. 

Both fugitives got away. 

Two men, identified as Demarraiy Fuller, 21, and Zafar VanCleaf, 23, both of Sandusky, were still inside the parked Oldsmobile when police got back, but they refused to talk. 

“They both advised they met up with the subjects at the Underground bar and they were offered a ride home, which they accepted,” a report said. “They both advised having no knowledge of the identities of the subjects.” 

Police charged Fuller and VanCleaf with obstructing official business and hauled them off to the Erie County jail, where they were held without bond. 

Meanwhile other officers found a .25-caliber pistol underneath a tree in the 1700 block of Barker St. 

The serial number was scratched off the weapon, according to Sandusky police Sgt. Dana Newell.

They found matching ammunition stuffed under the Oldsmobile’s back seat. 

It’s unclear exactly how police identified Brown as the suspect with the gun, but they were watching from an unmarked car when he emerged from a house in the 400 block of Franklin St. Sunday. 

And they had warrants with Brown’s name on them. 

“Rico Brown was observed exiting the residence, and he proceeded to get into the right rear passenger seat of the listed Chevy,” a report said. 

Police stopped the Chevy and arrested Brown on the spot. 

They searched the vehicle but didn’t find anything illegal. 

Brown was released from the Lorain Correctional Institution Feb. 17 after serving more than a year on a carrying concealed weapons conviction. 

That charge stemmed from a Oct. 2011 traffic stop on East Park Street. Police found a domestic violence warrant on a passenger, identified as Brown. While searching him they found a loaded Taurus 9mm pistol. 

Brown was barred from carrying weapons after a 2007 felony assault conviction. 

Newell said police have sent the .25-caliber pistol to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for identification. Once investigators restore the serial number, they’ll check the registration to figure out its owner. 

“There’s only one reason I can think of that you’d destroy a serial number on a gun,” he said. 

Brown was being held at the Erie County jail on $55,344 bond late Monday. Fuller and VanCleaf had been released. 




What's that D between his eye's stand for ? Oooooh the possibilities are endless....


Why do idiots ink that crud on their faces and necks , do they actually think it makes them cute?


sandtown born a...

Let them convicts need identifying marks. The D stands for Do$&hebag


oh, good idea.


Well off he goes back to prison. More free eats, free housing, free medical care, etc. all on the backs of we taxpayers. Course it does keep them off the street and thus we are safer in our homes. Regardless the price of safety does come at a high cost for those of us paying taxes.

Its a fact too that the State of Ohio pays more per year to house a prisoner in a state facility than the state pays to educate a child in the public schools for a year. Something always seemed wrong about that !!!

sandtown born a...

Free labor to fix roads etc but we will never do it we pay a public employee alot of money to mow grass and pick up the parks am I the only one who sees a problem with this


I am all for chain gang labor. You eat and have a roof over your head? Work for it...


Im all for chain labor gang with electronic cuffs on them that if they leave a certain area they shock them every 5 seconds. Lets start getting services for all these losers that keep going back to prison on the tax payers back.


Ah..NOW I know why the 2 guys were released from jail,even though they didn't have a bond.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks advocating illegal or violent actions.

Free Man

Put the animal down.!!


Orman needs a raise I do believe. Hes cleaning house on the drug addicts.


truebuckeyefan Your comment is truly insensitive. There's a reason humans aren't hung by their necks until they die. That's not even deserving in society for animals. It's also wrong to express hanging African Americans because of the long history that took Lynching Laws to stop it.


Also truebuckeyefan a "truebuckeye fan" wouldn't suggest hanging someone because this state and city was founded on antislavery and antilynching. You and anyone that condones this type of behaviour are truly in the minority.It sure isn't American.


If you are against hanging....how about a firing squad? This has nothing to do with race. This is a fact of REPEAT offenders. Offenders that have NO respect for anyone or anything. These offenders live off society either in prison or out. I could honestly do not care if the offender is green, white, purple, black, brown, red, or a 3 eyed cat.......if the punishment was a bit more harsh, maybe there wouldn't be so many repeat offenders. WHY is everything turned into a race issue? IF this offender was white and had the same rap sheet what would your response be?


What particular element of his rap sheet makes a firing squad necessary? He is not allowed to have a gun because of a felony assault charge. That is the law he broke. Does this mean anyone found with an unregistered weapon should be held to the same standard. I'm for the chaingangs and whatnot, but simply saying we should hang or use a firing squad on someone to me means they must have commited a serious crime..

sandtown born a...

Im sure he was on his way to turn in the gun to police no way was he gonna rob or maybe shoot someone with the illegal firearm huh


I'm sure he didn't have the gun for any good reasons, but that doesn't mean he should be hanged or put in front of a firing squad. I'm just saying that undertones of racism ring loud in these posts. People say they don't care what color he is, but maybe they should care about the crimes he actually committed. He did not murder or rob anyone. It's a felony for him to carry one because of previous felonies, and i'm sure he's not an upstanding citizen, but I doubt the same comments would be made had a mugshot not been attached..

sandtown born a...

Seriously leave race out of this I guess we should wait for the CONVICTED FELON to shoot someone. after bieng on the streets for a month he is right back doing illegal activities prob the very day he was released. Color dont select criminals they do it themselves no matter the color. Next year when he gets out again I hope he dont harm someone in your family that would be sad huh


Thank you for your wishes that he hurts someone in my family. Very classy of you. Yes, he is a criminal. Yes, he should be punished for his crimes. But the crime he actually committed was carrying a weapon after being barred due to a previous felony. You can't prove he was going to rob someone or shoot someone. That is by no means a reason to kill someone. I support the death penalty, but I believe it should be saved for rapists and murderers.

sandtown born a...

I never wished harm on anyone try again


Rico Brown , what is his education background? He sure had plans for that gun,dontcha think? How much money to incarcerate him,again? Lynching is an ugly word, still, sometimes hanging could save all of us a lot of time,and tax dollars. If ex- cons fail to show a positive change when free, then dont waste time and money on anyone that is preying on people in our town....


he's a real peice of work ! i'm all for bringing back the chain gangs. there are many jobs these people could be doing instead of sitting around jail at taxpayers expense. i'm sick of supporting them !!


@ Tootsiemomma & ladydye-5 -Amen .


You talk about lynching..and then say, "Amen."...I thought I was bad. ...lol


I haven't been in downtown Sandusky after dark in quite a few years, but this Underground place sounds like a real gem to attract the bad element.

2cents's picture

I know what "D" stands for : )


2cents's picture



I'm all second ammendment and gun owner. Fact is, ask the cop how he felt about chasing a convicted felon with a pistol in his pants. This isn't about color. People of color don't offend me, of which I am one, White, I guess. What offends me is thoise of you who try and defend a convocted felon who was fleeing the police, recently paroled, loaded gun on his person, and 3:00 in the morning. Really the officer was justified if he shot the guy, He had a loaded pistol. Many people who have been in trouble travel the straight and narrow for several years and have their records expunged. Just so happens, I gave a guy a ride home by the corner of Madison and Pearl at 2:00 A.M. the same morning. I wasn't carrying one of my guns. Of course I wasn't looking to get in any trouble or trying to rob or steal anything. All the credit to Sandusky Police.


Ezob your missing the point. No one is defending the crime. Myself and others are saying dont advocate hanging someone or the firing squad for something that is unfit for the crime and that those ways of dealing with criminals is considered inhumane. Your no better than him if you do. It never crossed my mind to hang the shooter in Arizona, Colorado or wish that for the young man that died in Conneticut. I prayed justice be served but the days of dragging someone out the court process and suggesting hanging them is uncivilized like him. Period.


Just a thought does anyone remember what happened to another Sandusky police officer that met up with a guy in th a.m. hours? Color /race/ethnic background has nothing to do with it...... He just got out of jail people..... And has a loaded hand gun!