Inmate who escaped ambulance in Cleveland found, arrested

The inmate was being transported to a mental health treatment center when he escaped from an ambulance


Evan MacDonald
Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Authorities found and arrested an inmate who escaped from an ambulance Wednesday in downtown Cleveland.

The U.S. Marshals’ Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Jonathan Luton without incident Thursday near East 140th Street at Maxwell Avenue in Cleveland, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said.

A Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority police officer, who is a member of the task force, spotted Luton about 11:45 p.m. at a car wash. Luton provided a false identity, but the officer recognized and arrested him, Elliott said.

Luton, 35, was being transported to a mental health treatment center when he escaped from an ambulance Wednesday near the intersection of Chester Avenue and East 130th Street. He was wearing only a hospital gown at the time, but was wearing different clothes when he was arrested Thursday, Elliott said.

Luton had been in custody since Saturday, when he is accused of using a mixture of PCP and marijuana before breaking into a Cleveland home and attacking a man with an ax, according to a police report.

He is charged with aggravated burglary in the incident, which occurred at a home on Irvington Terrace near East 70th Street, in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood.

Luton’s girlfriend told police officers that he was high on a mixture of PCP and marijuana when the incident happened. Luton tested positive for both drugs when he was arrested and taken to Cleveland Clinic, police reports say.

Luton used an ax to break into a home through the front door, police reports say. He swung the ax at a 28-year-old man, who avoided the attack and tackled Luton to the floor, police reports say.

The 28-year-old man held Luton down until Cleveland police officers arrived to arrest him. An ambulance took Luton to Cleveland Clinic, but he was later transferred to University Hospitals.

Luton was being moved to Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare when he escaped custody Wednesday, police said. Authorities have not said why Luton was being moved to the mental health treatment center, but court records indicate he has previously been treated for mental illness.

Luton’s criminal history includes prior convictions for felonious assault, burglary, theft and domestic violence. He was indicted March 27 in another case in which he is accused of felonious assault and domestic violence, Cuyahoga County court records say.

Last month, Luton filed an excessive force lawsuit accusing Cleveland police officers of using excessive force when they arrested Luton on March 4, 2017. The incident led to the suspensions of three police officers.

Luton said in the suit that officers Steven Fedorko, Joseph Tylka and Lewis Stevens attacked him during the arrest, but failed to report their uses of force. The officers also falsely claimed that Luton kicked Fedorko and broke his toe, which led to criminal charges that were later dropped, the suit says.

Police body camera video revealed that Fedorko appeared to suffer the broken toe when Tylka picked up a wooden shelf and tossed it out of the way, but onto Fedorko’s foot, the lawsuit says.

An Internal Affairs investigation resulted in Fedorko being suspended for 30 days. Tylka and Stevens were given 12 and eight-day suspensions, respectively.

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©2019 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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