Police Chase, 1970s

A car chase that began in the Cleveland Metroparks in Solon quickly made its way into Twinsburg, as Metroparks and Solon police pursued a vehicle driven by Erwin Hawkins of Cleveland after he resisted arrest for an unspecified crime. When Hawkins entered the city, Twinsburg police, as well as officers from Boston Heights, Hudson, Macedonia, Oakwood, and Reminderville, joined in pursuit of the fleeing fugitive. Hawkins’s car careened dangerously through the streets of Twinsburg. He was desperately attempting to reach his sister’s residence at Whitewood Apartments off Ravenna Road. But in the parking lot of the apartment complex police cars surrounded him, thwarting his escape.

He may have been cornered, but he refused to cower. Hawkins took hold of a tire iron and proceeded to swing wildly at the officers. During the course of his onslaught, Hawkins caused considerable damage to the patrol car of Twinsburg officer Joe Jasany—beating out the windows and headlights. In the meantime, a crowd of onlookers had gathered, preventing the police from retaliating with gunfire. Officers were forced to hold fire lest innocent bystanders become accidental casualties.

Finally, Chief Donald Prange decided desperate measures were needed. Prange called the Twinsburg Fire Department, asking for assistance. Engine seven, equipped with five firefighters, swiftly arrived at the site of the standoff. The firefighters readied their hoses, aiming at their target, moments away from spraying a fierce flood of water at Hawkins. Seeing there was simply no defense against the inch-and-a-half hose, Hawkins dropped his tire iron and forfeited his freedom, though once placed in a police cruiser he proceeded to try kicking out the windows. Officers transported Hawkins to the Twinsburg jail, where he continued to violently resist arrest. During the ensuing struggle, a Macedonia police officer’s hand got jammed in the frame of the jail door, and four of his fingers were broken.

Jocko, the Safety Clown

One of the most endearing characters in the history of the three communities is the beloved safety clown Jocko. For years, Police Officer Joe Jasany reprised the role of Jocko every spring, teaching schoolchildren and toddlers all the intricacies of bicycle safety.

Jasany first decided to don the clown outfit while his son was recuperating in the Lorain Community Hospital’s intensive care unit in 1971. Dressed in clown regalia he entertained and cheered all the sick children in the intensive care unit. Initially, the moniker for Jasany’s alter ego was “Jo Jo,” but it was former Twinsburg police chief Donald Prange who finally dubbed him “Jocko.”

Over the years, Jocko performed on numerous occasions at the WKYC Blue CrossBlue Shield Health Fair and won a statewide Governor’s Award for Juvenile Programs in 1978.