Deadly police cruiser crash ‘the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen’


Cornelius Frolik - Springfield News-Sun, Ohio (TNS)



In a spree that spanned less than 15 minutes, a Dayton man stabbed his father, wrecked his truck, stole a Riverside police cruiser and then crashed it going 97 mph, killing two children and injuring 10 people outside a library, investigators said.

Eleanor McBride and Penelope Jasko, both 6 years old, died from injuries sustained in the crash outside the Dayton Metro Library.

Shortly before that, Raymond Walters, 32, learned that his father, Lloyd Walters, was going to try to take his son to the hospital for evaluation and treatment for mental health issues, police said.

“When his son found out where he was heading, he tried to kill his father,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said Tuesday afternoon.

Mary Cramer, 32, was on the sidewalk next to the library and witnessed the high-speed crash, which she said ripped the cruiser into pieces as it hit an Acura SUV and an Odyssey van.

“It sounded like thunder,” Cramer said. “It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen.”

Cramer said she can’t believe the driver of the stolen cruiser survived because it “shattered” and car parts went flying.

As Biehl outlined the series of events that happened in such a short period of time, he reminded people to focus on the families of those killed or injured.

“I ask you keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Biehl said.

Raymond Walters, who was released from state prison on Aug. 10, has a long criminal history, Biehl said.

He also may have been using methamphetamine and has made paranoid and delusional comments in the days since returning home from prison, according to neighbors and police officials.

Homicide detectives will meet with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office to present murder charges and other related offenses against Raymond Walters, Biehl said.

“At the rate of speed he was traveling, the inevitability of a crash is almost guaranteed,” he said.

Stabbing and truck crash

At 7:11 p.m. Monday, Dayton police were flagged down on North Keowee Street by a citizen who saw a man covered in blood on Xenia Avenue, police said.

Police say they discovered 60-year-old Lloyd Walters sitting on the steps of 116 Xenia Ave. bleeding from wounds to his head, face, arms and chest.

Lloyd Walters said his son stabbed him multiple times and fled in his 1999 Chevrolet truck.

Surveillance video obtained by News Center 7 shows a struggle inside a black Chevrolet pickup truck at 7:08 p.m. and following the apparent attack, a man exits from the driver’s side door and walks down Xenia Avenue. The black pickup truck, which belongs to the stabbing victim, then drives off.

At 7:13 p.m., the black truck drove off the roadway in front of 4542 Airway Road in Riverside and struck a tree in the front yard, police said.

The suspect got out of the truck and was yelling and wandering in the road, according to witnesses and a 911 caller.

“I thought something was wrong with him, because he was pacing back and forth across Airway in traffic,” said witness Jonathan Poston, who got cell phone video of key parts of the incident.

Stolen cruiser

At 7:19 p.m., a Riverside police officer arrived at the scene and got out of his vehicle.

Walters walked to the back of the SUV cruiser, and the officer followed him, believing he was encountering an injured or disoriented motorist from an auto accident, police said.

Walters then “double backed” and climbed inside the police cruiser, said Riverside police Chief Frank Robinson.

“To us that was an accident scene,” Robinson said. “You see this person walking past you, bloodied or whatever, and you want to get out and help them. You have no idea what’s going on.”

The officer used a key to open the passenger side door and deployed a Taser twice, but only the first strike was effective because the second shot hit the suspect’s pants, Robinson said.

Walters next drove the police cruiser in reverse down Airway Road while being pursued by a vehicle driven by a Riverside police sergeant.

While driving in reverse, Walters cut through a yard and then rammed the front of the other police car, which caused enough damage to render it inoperable, police said.

No pursuit

“After our sergeant’s vehicle was struck on Airway, there was no pursuit from the Riverside Police Department of any suspect,” Robinson said.

Walters then went forward as he fled in the stolen cruiser, heading west on East Third Street, reaching a maximum speed of 101 mph, Biehl said.

At 7:22 p.m. Walters collided with a red Acura SUV at the intersection of East Third Street and Patterson Boulevard after running a red light, Biehl said. The cruiser was traveling at about 97 mph at the time of impact.

After striking the Acura, the police cruiser smashed into a Honda Odyssey van that was carrying seven children and one adult driver.

Eleanor McBride and Penelope Jasko were killed in the crash, and a third child remained in critical condition, police said.

Eight other people who were injured in the incident have been treated and released or remain in stable condition, Biehl said.

‘History of drug abuse’

Biehl said methamphetamine use may have been a contributing factor in Raymond Walters’ behavior.

“We’re seeking the necessary medical records to confirm that,” he said. “There is a history of drug abuse.”

Raymond Walters was released from state prison on Aug. 10 but was under supervised release, also known as parole, for three years. His birthday was Tuesday.

He was incarcerated at Lebanon Correctional Institution in August 2017 for a felony robbery conviction, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison but given credit for time already served, court records indicate.

Raymond Walters has previous convictions for felony theft, drug possession (morphine) and robbery. He also was previously charged with felony assault and other offenses but charges were dismissed.

After parole, Raymond Walters moved in with his father on Boltin Street, according to Jason Butts, who said he and Lloyd “Bear” Walters are neighbors and have been friends for decades.

Butts said he spoke with Lloyd Walters early Tuesday from the hospital, where he is recovering from about six knife wounds to the face and eight to the body.

Lloyd Walters told Butts that his son stabbed him.

Multiple altercations

Raymond Walters used methamphetamine and got in multiple altercations with his father since returning home, Butts and other neighbors said.

Raymond Walters at times was delusional and paranoid and talked about seeing demons and having problems with a drug cartel, Butts said.

Butts said he called Raymond Walters’ parole officer multiple times because he was worried he would kill his father.

“He was seeing stuff,” one neighbor who declined to give their name told this newspaper. “This guy was seeing demons.”

Raymond Walters was married in March 2008 and had two children, according to court records. His wife filed for divorce in 2012, which the court granted.

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Cornelius Frolik

Springfield News-Sun, Ohio (TNS)

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