BRACEVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Investigators say a Braceville man shot and killed himself when Trumbull County’s chief deputy tried to arrest him on charges related to sex crimes.
The indictment released Friday morning states that Harold Roupe, 36, was facing charges of rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
“Mr. Roupe was accused of the charges stemming from his involvement with a 14-year-old or 13-year-old female, and him fathering a child with that young female,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.
Chief Deputy Thomas Stewart went to arrest Roupe on those charges Wednesday morning, but things began to unravel quickly.
Stewart was able to pull Roupe over in a church parking lot.
“I said, ‘You’re under arrest’ and I explained what you’re being under arrest, and that’s when he used the four-letter word…and he was gone, just took off,” Stewart said.
Roupe ran onto Braceville Robinson Road toward his house. Stewart says Roupe started a short chase, reaching speeds of up to 90 miles an hour.
He said Roupe then ran into his house and an attached garage where, within minutes, he turned a shot gun on himself.
Wildman says it is an apparent suicide, but they are waiting for a death certificate to make the final determination.
“It’s one of those cases where Mr. Roupe, I think, took the easy way out apparently,” he said. “I’m afraid there may be no justice, at least from the courts, on this case and maybe the ultimate justice has already been dispensed.”
“All he had to do is go through the process of, if he felt he didn’t do anything wrong, go through the trial,” Stewart said. “It’s a tragic thing with her and it’s a tragic ending to this whole thing.”
Stewart says Roupe denied the allegations against him in this case from the very beginning of the investigation.