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Bank robbery suspect wrestles with Northfield officer for gun

Woman used as human shield during incident
Fight for the gun.JPG
Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 18:40:29-05

MACEDONIA, Ohio — Two men were arrested following a frightening chain of events that included a bank robbery, a scuffle over an officer's gun, and a woman briefly being held hostage in a casino parking lot.

The ordeal started last Friday afternoon when the Key Bank on E. Aurora Road in Macedonia was robbed.

According to police, the suspect, who wore a hat and a mask, displayed a note and demanded money with "no trackers."

Surveillance cameras captured images of the man inside and bank and running through a parking lot.

Northfield Officer Mike Bonfield heard the radio call and was on alert for the suspected getaway pickup truck.

"My mental process was just to find this black Dodge Ram," Bonfield said.

Moments later, the truck drove right past Bonfield on Route 8 and the officer began following the vehicle which pulled into the MGM Grand parking lot.

Shortly after the slow-moving pickup came to a stop, two men jumped out and took off running.

Bonfield chased after the man who had been sitting in the passenger seat. In the process, the officer ran over a pile of money that was dropped in the parking lot.

"When I saw it, I knew this was it. It was our bank robbers," Bonfield told News 5.

Bonfield's body camera captured frightening moments after he caught up to the suspect, identified as 60-year-old Brian Spenny of Massillon.

The two men scuffled and the body camera was knocked to the ground, but the lens continued to point in the direction of the fight.

"I just tackled him. We wrapped up. A few punches were thrown," Bonfield said.

In the video, Bonfield can be heard saying, "Stop resisting. Stop it. Please stop."

However, the hand-fighting continued and the video shows the suspect reaching for the officer's gun.

"That was one of the things I couldn't forget, so it felt like honestly, he had my weapon from me, but it caught on a retention strap," Bonfield said.

Bonfield said Spenny broke free, ran about 20 yards, and then confronted a woman who had just gotten out of her car in the parking lot.

According to Bonfield, Spenny used the woman as "a human shield" and grabbed her by the throat, forcing the officer to re-holster his gun.

"When he grabbed her as a hostage, my heart dropped because I honestly thought he was going to do something terrible to her," Bonfield said.

However, Bonfield said he lunged at the suspected bank thief and pried his hands off the woman. With the help of a witness, Spenny was taken to the ground. Bonfield suffered minor injuries to his elbow.

Another Northfield officer, Tony Pistone, handcuffed Spenny who was charged with aggravated robbery, kidnapping, assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest.

Pistone then headed into a nearby neighborhood to search for the pickup truck driver who was still on the run.

"You kind of think, put yourself in their shoes I guess. What would you do if you were running and trying to hide?" Pistone said.

Within 30 minutes, Pistone spotted 46-year-old John Dampman who was hiding under a deck attached to a home on Filly Lane.

Pistone's body camera captured the officer yelling, "Show me your hands! Show me your hands! Do not move! Do not move!"

Moments later, Dampman, of Massillon, crawled out and was arrested. He's charged with complicity to robbery and obstructing official business.

Police officers from Macedonia, Oakwood, Walton Hills, and Sagamore Hills also assisted with the apprehensions.

Bonfield and Pistone are relieved that no one was seriously injured.

"I just keep saying it's lucky nobody got hurt, so I think a job well done," Bonfield said.

"Obviously, everyone wants to go home to their wives, their kids, their moms, their dads— whatever it might be— and luckily, everyone was able to that day," Pistone said.