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Burglary suspect injured in attempt to evade police


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Zachary A. Venable
Zachary A. Venable


A Decatur County man being sought for burglary and other charges made a Hollywood-style jump from a third-story balcony in Columbus with police on his trail.

But unlike most movie scenarios, Zachary A. Venable, 23, of 805 W. Eighth St., Greensburg, suffered serious injuries as a result of last weekend’s incident at a motel near Jonathan Moore Pike and Carr Hill Road.

Venable was being sought on a Shelby County warrant for charges including burglary, possession of stolen property, illegal residential entry and receiving stolen property.

After receiving a tip that Venable was staying at the motel, two officers from the Columbus Police Department community policing unit had the room under observation until shortly before 3:30 p.m. Saturday, when Venable opened the door, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.

When the suspect saw Patrolman Troy Love and Sgt. Toby Combest in the motel hallway, Venable locked himself inside and refused the officers’ demands to surrender, Myers said.

Outside the room near the parking lot, witnesses saw the man move to his third-floor balcony and make a leap for freedom, but the impact of hitting the ground broke both of Venable’s ankles, Myers said.

One officer who thought Venable might attempt such an escape ran outside and quickly found the man hiding behind some bushes and arrested him, Myers said.

Venable was treated at Columbus Regional Hospital and then taken to the Bartholomew County Jail. Besides the original warrant, he could face a charge of resisting law enforcement in Bartholomew County, Myers said.

While on a 48-hour hold at the jail, Venable was turned over to Shelby County authorities on Monday, a jail official said.

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