Suspect apprehended in manhunt Thursday afternoon in custody

By: Leah Alsept


Michigan man Robert Tramaine Hathorn was captured in a wooded area near local Findlay business after tips from residents came in

It was 11:05 p.m. Wednesday evening when Ohio State Highway Patrolman Josef Brobst was shot with his own gun during a struggle after stopping Robert Traimaine Hathorn for a speeding violation. Soon after the shooting occurred, Hathorn fled the scene and remained on the run.

Sgt. Ryan Purpura told 13abc that it was “unclear” how the firearm was fired.

Hathorn’s mugshot, courtesy of the Hancock County Inmate Inquiry.

The next day, several schools in the Findlay area were closed in caution of the search for the Hathorn, whose car, a 2016 black Chevrolet Suburban with Michigan plating, was found on behind a business on County Road 140 near Township Road 89, reports a media release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).

Hathorn, 42, was released from prison this April in Muskegon County, Michigan after a 17-year sentence on felony drug charges. He has also been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and failure to register as a sex offender, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Hathorn was on the run for several hours in the Findlay area while Brobst was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital with serious, yet non-life threatening injuries. Brobst was able to call in the incident at 11:15 p.m., says the OSHP release.

13abc says residents of Findlay were able to spot Hathorn in a wooded area near County Road 223 near W. Trenton Ave. Sgt. Ryan Purpura clarified in an email interview that Hathorn was found near 7654 County Road 233, which is the address of Flag City Brokers Metal Recycling. There are several other businesses around the County Road, including Findlay Truck & RV, Carpet Mart, and Walmart.

Hathorn was apprehended around 1:30 p.m., ending the 14-hour long manhunt.

“It was a team effort between everyone,” said Sgt. Brian Nihiser with the OSHP Public Relations unit. “The Sheriff’s office, obviously Findlay Police Department, all of our special response units came together to get the capture done.” The media release thanks several other police departments, including the United States Marshals Service, United States Secret Service, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Toledo Police Department, Fostoria Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, United States Border Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives” for helping in the search.

Sgt. Purpura said that Hathorn is being incarcerated at the Hancock County Jail. According to Hathorn’s booking on the Hancock County Inmate Inquiry, he has been charged with aggravated robbery of a deadly weapon, which is a felony. His bond is set at $250,000.

Officer Brobst is a 2018 graduate of the 163rd Academy Class of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

This story will continue to be updated as more information is learned.

Featured photo courtesy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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