Man rearrested after escaping from hospital

Staff report


City police arrested a man Friday after he escaped from St. Elizabeth Heath Center where he was being held on charges of felonious assault.

Shane Champney, 28, was charged about 11:45 a.m. Friday after police say he hit a man over the back of the head with a large stick and tried to stab him.

Champney sustained deep cuts to his left wrist and the left side of his forehead during the struggle.

He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s for treatment, but the hospital later reported him missing.

Police then responded to a robbery in progress at Rite Aid at 540 E. Midlothian Blvd., where a man matching Champney’s description had stolen $190. The shift supervisor said she saw a tall, white male in his mid-30s buying cloth tape and sterile pads for a wound with 18 stitches that he said he got during a work-related accident.

The man went to pay for the items in line, but kept his left hand in his pocket while he tried swiping his credit card. After several failed attempts, he told the person behind him in line to check out first. Police said that when Champney was alone in the store with the clerk, he told her he had a gun in his pocket and demanded the $20 and $50 bills from the register.

The clerk said he told her which buttons to push on the register to open the cash drawer without a sale.

The clerk said she did not see a gun, and the man ran out of the store with the money. She later noticed blood on and around the credit-card machine. Youngstown police identified Champney in survelliance videos from the drugstore and received a tip that Champney was at a home on Avondale Avenue. They spoke with a woman who said a man matching his description asked to borrow her landline phone, claiming to be a neighbor whose power had not been turned on.

Police found Champney in a vacant home on Avondale Avenue, where he told officers he lit a fire in the basement to keep warm.

Youngstown firefighters responded to the scene, along with Rural Metro ambulance.

Champney was taken to St. Elizabeth’s for the second time that day, and two officers watched over him before he was escorted to Mahoning County Jail on charges of felonious assault and aggravated robbery.

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