New Middletown cruiser crashes in Youngstown

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A New Middletown police officer suffered a medical incident before crashing his cruiser through a road construction barrier Thursday in Youngstown, according to village police chief Vincent D’Egidio.

The chief said Det. Phillip Schaper, 36, who is diabetic, had a reaction to a dangerously low blood sugar level about 7 p.m. The chief said Schaper was in a daze and began driving toward Youngstown, eventually crashing his cruiser through a concrete construction barrier on Loveland Road at the dead end before Poland Avenue on the city’s South Side.

He said Schaper has no recollection of driving to Youngstown and he was unconscious when police and rescue crews arrived.

D’Egidio said Schaper has been on the police department for nearly eight years and has been full-time for four years.

He said the officer is banged up and has some facial cuts, but he does not have any broken bones. The cruiser was totaled and will be towed back the village police department for examination.

“Fortunately, he was wearing his seat belt and also had on his bulletproof vest. Between that and the cruiser’s air bags, he was not seriously injured,” D’Egidio said.

Witness Kenneth Patterson said he heard the crash and ran down the street, where he found the crashed cruiser.

“I couldn’t get the door open, so I tried grabbing something to break the window open. I ended up running up here. I grabbed a tire iron and broke the window open. I got the cop to become coherent enough to tell him to get out of the way and lean back. I ended up prying the lock on the door and got the door open,” Patterson said.

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