Fugitive from Liberty PD caught; 3 officers face discipline

GIRARD — Garell T. Williams, 24, of Brooklyn Avenue in Youngstown, will be arraigned today in Girard Municipal Court on felony escape and numerous other charges associated with a Jan. 4 traffic stop during which Williams escaped from a Liberty police cruiser.

The matter will result in disciplinary action for the three Liberty police officers who were handling the arrest, Liberty Police Chief Rich Tisone said this morning.

“Because of this, we’re going over our policy and there’s schooling for all three,” Tisone said. “I think they learned a valuable lesson.”

A Liberty officer observed a car in a parking lot on Gypsy Lane at 4:08 a.m. with its headlights on, then watched it pull onto Gypsy Lane with no license plate light and the license plate sticker covered up by a license-plate bracket.

Officers stopped the vehicle on Goleta Avenue in Youngstown and observed Williams, the driver, in the car with a female passenger.

Williams was removed from the vehicle, and a marijuana cigarette fell from his jacket, police said. Williams was placed in a cruiser while officers prepared to tow the car.

Police then found a loaded handgun in the car and learned that Williams has no concealed-carry permit and is a convicted felon.

Williams was then handcuffed and placed back in the cruiser, police said. An officer rolled a back window down less than half way and questioned Williams, Tisone said.

All three officers returned to Williams’ car, leaving the window open part way. The window has bars on it. Officers recovered the firearm and a bag of crack cocaine in Williams’ car. When they returned to the cruiser, Williams was gone.

“Nobody kept an eye on the prisoner, and he disappeared into the night,” Tisone said.

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