AMHERST– After eight weeks of healing and rehabilitation, Amherst police Officer Gene “JR” Ptacek returned home to his family Tuesday.
Ptacek was escorted from MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland to his home by the township’s emergency services vehicles, and residents were invited to show their support on the sidewalks along Cleveland Avenue from state Route 58 to the township town hall.
Ptacek, a member of the Lorain County SWAT team, was shot during a standoff May 31 in Sheffield Lake. The SWAT team and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force were attempting to serve a felony arrest warrant on Martin Robinson, when Robinson barricaded himself in his home in the 700 block of Oliver Street.
Robinson was apprehended later that night.
Amherst Councilman Brian Dembinski said he’s happy to have Ptacek come back to Amherst and the work the community has done for him.
“We are extremely proud of how Amherst was able to rally around this tragedy, from blood drives to fundraisers and everything in between, to support one of our own,” he said via Facebook. “His service to the community is deeply appreciated and I continue to wish for him to have a speedy recovery.”
A lemonade stand set up by three Sheffield children in June helped raise about $7,500 for Lorain County Blue Foundation. The foundation assists officers fatally wounded or critically injured in the line of duty. Amherst police also held a blood drive earlier this month for Ptacek at Marion L. Steele High School.
Ptacek is a 17-year veteran of the department and has served on the countywide SWAT team for several years, according to a news release from Amherst police.
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