ELYRIA — A city worker was injured after a man purposely drove around a barricade Saturday at Elyria’s annual Kerstetter 5K.
Runners were scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. for the eighth James A. Kerstetter 5K run, commemorating the late Elyria police Sgt. James Kerstetter who was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic dispute in March 2010.
Steven Tanner, 47, of Elyria, suffered minor injuries after John Abraham, 71, also of Elyria, drove around a barricade at Washington Avenue and Broad Street at 8:17 a.m. Saturday.
“From what I was told he was annoyed that he had to get around (the roadblocks) and purposely drove through the barricade and hit the city employee,” Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said. “It was fairly apparent that he couldn’t get through (the barricade). This was a purposeful event, this was not an accident.”
Elyria police Sgt. Bill Lantz said Abraham was attempting to turn north onto Washington Avenue when he was stopped by the barricade. Abraham, Tanner and other employees exchanged words before Abraham maneuvered his 2002 Toyota Highlander around the barricade.
Tanner was hit by the vehicle, suffering minor abrasions to his arm. Abraham was stopped shortly after getting around the barricade by a Border Patrol Agent who was volunteering as part of security for the event, Costantino said.
Following an investigation into the incident, Abraham was arrested and transported to Lorain County Jail, where he will be held without bond pending a preliminary court appearance. He is charged with felonious assault — a second-degree felony — stopping after an accident on a public roadway and reckless operation.
“We’re very fortunate that the border patrol agent was there and was able to take action quickly before any other people were hurt,” Costantino said.