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CRIME Gunman still at large after two-day manhunt



Published: Sat, January 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man fired twice at deputies, stole a cruiser and held a family at gunpoint, authorities said.

JEFFERSON -- The Ashtabula County Sheriff's Department said the hunt continued unsuccessfully Saturday for a man who exchanged gunfire twice with deputies Thursday, and threatened a family.

No injuries were reported.

A man the department identified as Dallas Wesley Parsons, 39, of Conneaut is sought by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Trumbull County Sheriff's Department, Andover police, Orwell police and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Authorities said a man first fired a semiautomatic weapon at a deputy about 4 a.m. Thursday.

The sheriff's department said Parsons' early 1980s truck was spotted in a ditch on the south side of Gardner Road by a deputy at about 4 a.m. Thursday. As the deputy approached, he saw a man dressed in camouflage and a dark hat.

Ready to fire

He heard what be believed to be a round being chambered in a firearm and told the man to drop the weapon.

The man started shooting, and the deputy returned fire from the rear of the cruiser, the department said. The deputy then moved for cover to a tree line on the south side of the road.

Authorities said the man took the cruiser, driving on Gardner Road toward Stanhope to Leon Square.

They said he forced his way into a home at 4:15 a.m., and held a man and woman and their young son at gunpoint.

"He told them that he had shot a deputy sheriff," the department's news release said.

The man then demanded the keys to their 2004 Hyundai and left. The homeowner called the sheriff's department.

Second shooting

At the intersection of Leon Square and Leon Road in Dorset Township, the man confronted officers and additional shots were exchanged. He got away with the vehicle last seen southbound on Stanhope-Kelloggsville Road.

Later that morning, the man pulled into the driveway of a Cherry Valley resident, left the Hyundai and broke into a gray 1989 Cadillac, last seen in southern Ashtabula County. He was later reported to be spotted in Trumbull County.




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