Violent crime is almost nonexistent in the three communities. According to statistics compiled by the FBI there were only ten violent crimes committed in Twinsburg in 2012 (the latest statistic compiled). This makes the tragic and senseless events of July 13, 2008, all the more startling and harrowing.
Around two 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 level and possibly driving under the influence. The incident transpired right in front of a home at 2454 Glenwood Drive, near Route 91. What must have initially seemed like a relatively routine traffic stop soon turned serious and deadly: mere minutes after Officer Miktarian radioed for backup, he was shot several times in the head by Thompson. Miktarian’s beloved canine compadre Bagio watched helpelessly, locked in the patrol car and unable to intervene in the absurd altercation. Less than an hour later Miktarian 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.” 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 for eleven years.
According to Katherine Procop, mayor at the time of the murder: “It was absolutely devastating to the police force, and 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. Sporting a mischievous grin, infectious sense of humor, and 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 used to really respect the older guys . . . like myself,” said retired police officer Joe Jasany.
His interests and activities were varied, as illustrated by his ownership of a Gionino’s Pizza restaurant and his dual duties as guitarist and songwriter for the 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.
Officer Miktarian had served with the Twinsburg Police Department for 11 years and also served as a part-time officer with the Uniontown Police Department.
The Officer Joshua T. Miktarian Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to carry on Officer Joshua Miktarian’s dedication to the field of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement.