Upper Arlington News

Upper Arlington man hospitalized after church break-in, police standoff


An Upper Arlington-area man was apprehended and taken to a nearby hospital Thursday morning, Oct. 4, after allegedly breaking into a local church and threatening to harm himself.

Upper Arlington police continue to investigate what led the 20-year-old man to allegedly create a disturbance near the intersection of Fishinger and Reed roads before breaking into Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2070 Ridgecliff Road.

As of 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4, police were still awaiting the results of medical tests. However, officials said they suspected substance abuse played a role in the incident, which led to a negotiator from the Columbus Police Department to be called to the seen.

“A little before 1 a.m. (Oct. 4) the Upper Arlington Police Division received numerous calls about a disturbance in and around the Fishinger Road-Reed Road area,” said Upper Arlington Police officer Heather Galli. “The individual appeared to be under the influence of some sort of substance.”

About 20 minutes after initial reports came in about a man running through neighborhoods in the area calling for help, a 20-year-old white man was located inside Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Galli said the man, who hasn’t been identified because no charges have been filed against him, had forced entry to the church. He allegedly called 911 for help, and was wearing a choir robe and holding a piece of glass when police arrived on the scene.

She said the man also was threatening to harm himself, and that’s when the negotiator was called to the scene.

“There was a bit of a standoff situation where the subject attempted to hurt himself,” Galli said. “We were able to bring this person out and he was transported to the Ohio State University Hospital.

“The incident is still under investigation. Charges may be pending.”

Galli identified the man as being from the Upper Arlington area. She added he suffered non-life-threatening injuries at some point prior to his apprehension.