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Cops and Courts

Kenneth Karnow indicted for allegedly smashing SUV into home

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A Vermilion man was indicted on multiple counts in connection with a January incident in which police say he smashed his SUV into a home and ruptured a gas line, causing the home to explode.

Kenneth Karnow, 56, was indicted on felony counts of burglary, assault, possession of criminal tools and misdemeanor counts of failure to stop after an accident, obstructing official business and operating a motor vehicle without being in control of it by an Erie County grand jury, according to court documents.

Police have said Karnow was driving his SUV about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 31 when he crashed into the Darrow Road home of Jen and Tracy Haslage. Karnow allegedly abandoned his vehicle and ran from the scene. Erie County Sheriff’s deputies began searching for Karnow immediately as the vehicle at the scene was registered in his name, police have said.

Minutes after the vehicle crashed into the home, the house exploded. The Haslages and their two dogs were able to get out of the home before the explosion and were unharmed.

The force of the explosion was so great that it threw an Erie County deputy standing on the lawn back several feet and blew out the windows of his cruiser.

Deputies found Karnow hiding in a closet of a vacant home in Wakeman Township house hours later. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said the caretakers of the Wakeman home noticed the door to the home had been force open when they went to check on it the afternoon of the incident.

Authorities said Karnow had used a crowbar to pry open the door to get inside the home.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter did not return calls requesting information about the indictment of Karnow.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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