Violent crime is almost non-existent in the three communities. According to statistics compiled by the FBI there were only ten violent crimes committed in Twinsburg in 2012 (the latest stat compiled). This makes the tragic and senseless events of July 13, 2008 all the more startling and harrowing.
Around 2 a.m. on that fateful day, Officer Joshua T. Miktarian, a Twinsburg Police Officer of eleven years, pulled over motorist Ashford Thompson, who was playing music at a deafening decibel and possibly driving under the influence. The incident transpired right in front of the home at 2454 Glenwood Drive, near Route 91. What must have initially seemed a relatively routine traffic stop soon turned serious and deadly: merely minutes after Officer Miktarian radioed for backup; he was shot several times in the head by Thompson. Mikitarian’s beloved canine compadre, Bagio watched hopelessly, locked in the patrol car and unable to intervene in the absurd altercation. Less than an hour later he was pronounced dead at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Police Chief Chris Noga has referred to the slaying of Officer Miktarian as “the darkest day of my career” (Chris Noga, oral history interview). Noga and Miktarian had started in the department within a week of each other and were close friends. Seeing a fellow officer slain is never easy, much less someone you’ve worked side-by-side with on the Twinsburg police force for eleven years.
According to Katherine Procop, mayor at the time of the murder: “It was absolutely devastating to the police force, and to our community. There is truly not a day that goes by I don’t think about Josh.” Such was the effect that Josh had during his too-brief tenure on this Earth. Possessed with a mischievous grin, infectious sense of humor, and a magnetic personality, the devoted husband and father was beloved by his fellow police officers and the community as a whole. “Josh was one of the few young persons who really respected that used to really respect the older guys…like myself” (Retired police officer Joe Jasany).
His interests and activities varied, illustrated by his ownership of a Gionini’s Pizza restaurant and his dual duties as guitarist and songwriter for heavy metal band, Barium. He is survived by his wife Holly and their daughter Thea (only three months old at the time of the murder).