The man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Brookfield March 21 was wanted in Lake County for disconnecting his SCRAM bracelet that measures whether the person wearing it has consumed alcohol, and by Liberty police for failing to stop for them on March 18.
Fred H. Wild III, 50, of Girard or Mentor, had a long history of convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, assault and other charges, and been court-ordered to seek mental health counseling, according to court records.
On March 18, Liberty police were called with a report that Wild was at an address on Keefer Road, which is listed as his address in many court filings. The caller said she was frightened by the things Wild was saying and wanted him to leave, police said. She also said he had a warrant for his arrest, police said. She gave a description of his vehicle, a black, mud-splattered Dodge Ram with a damaged front bumper, police said.
Police said they found the truck coming out of a church parking lot and attempted to stop it, but it drove away and police lost sight of it. Police filed a charge of failing to comply against Wild.
The warrant arose from a case in Lake County. Painesville police charged Wild with felony OVI on Feb. 4, noting that he had at least five OVI convictions in the past 20 years, and a total of 10. He also was charged with refusing to submit to chemical testing.
Wild was driving a black Dodge Ram, police said.
Wild was released on bond but his bond conditions included that he was not allowed to drive, that he not consume drugs or alcohol, and that he be monitored with a SCRAM bracelet, which measures alcohol in a person’s sweat. On March 14, a Lake County judge revoked Wild’s bond because he had disconnected the SCRAM unit, according to court records.
At 1:04 a.m. March 21, police and state troopers responded to a 911 call about a “dangerous suspect criminally trespassing in a cabin located on private property” in Brookfield, according to the news release issued by Ohio Highway Patrol.
Police approached Wild and he jumped out of a window of the cabin into a stolen vehicle, a pickup with a snow plow, police said. Wild “failed to comply with verbal commands, then charged at officers with the stolen vehicle,” the release said.
“Multiple officers then fired their duty weapons striking the suspect,” the release said.
In addition to Brookfield police, state troopers, Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies and police from Lordstown and Vienna were on scene, according to the release.
Brookfield Fire-EMS responded, but Wild was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said.
Wild was the only occupant of the vehicle, and no officers were injured, the release said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigates officer-involved shootings, and had its investigators at the scene at about 2:30 or 3 a.m., said BCI spokesman Steve Irwin.
“It is an ongoing criminal investigation,” Irwin said. “We do not have a lot of details about the case at this point we can share.”
The length of time the investigation will take depends on many factors, he said.
“Typically, we know that it takes about 400 agent hours to investigate an officer-involved shooting,” Irwin said. “Typically, that translates into several weeks or months before the investigation is referred to the county prosecutor.”
The county prosecutor reviews the investigation and decides if any criminal charges are warranted, he said.
Irwin said it’s too early to say who fired at Wild.
An attempt to reach Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino was unsuccessful.
A review of Trumbull County online court records shows Wild was convicted of OVI in 2002, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2020, with the 2002 case originating in Brookfield.
He also was convicted of assault twice in 1999, and in 2008 and 2018, and of harassment by bodily substance, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct, domestic violence, violating a protection order and a number of traffic violations.
Wild was sentenced to 6 months in prison in the harassment case, which was a felony, and 18 months for violating probation in a felony DUI case.
In 2020, Wild was referred to recovery court, a diversion from prosecution program, by Girard Municipal Court, but missed a hearing and the case proceeded as normal. At a sentencing hearing on Dec. 17, 2020,
Wild was “removed due to his mental health behavior” and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. He was ultimately placed back in recovery court, but spent 53 days in jail in the interim.