Bond set for Wood County escapee, woman accused of helping him hide

Jhon M. Rosado (Source: Wood County Sheriff's Office)
Jhon M. Rosado (Source: Wood County Sheriff's Office)
Bobbie Merritt (Source: Wood County Sheriff's Office)
Bobbie Merritt (Source: Wood County Sheriff's Office)
The apartment complex where Rosado was found.
The apartment complex where Rosado was found.

BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Police say a man who climbed a fence to escape custody Wednesday evening in Bowling Green was found fewer than 5 miles away hiding in the attic of a woman's apartment on Thursday.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says authorities found Jhon Rosado hiding in an attic at the Fairview Manor apartment complex in Bowling Green. SWAT and police were called to the complex, near Bowling Green High School on Thursday evening.

The sheriff says Rosado was hiding in the attic of the apartment of Bobbie Merritt, who has also been taken into custody and charged with harboring a fugitive. Police say Merritt is the woman who accused Rosado of holding her captive and raping her back in May.

Rosado was arraigned on escape charges Friday morning, and is being held on $100,000. He's due back in court on Sept. 29.

Merritt is being held on $25,000 and is will be back in court on September 24. Both suspects were ordered not to contact one another.

Police say Merritt had been in contact with Rosado while he was in jail. After reviewing phone calls Rosado made from the corrections center police say they learned Merritt may have known in advance what he was plotting.

"They had a communication early yesterday where he informed her that he was going to escape," said Bowling Green Police Major Tony Hetrick on Thursday. "She was his reason for wanting to get out, so we knew the general area where we probably should focus our efforts."

Police say Merritt was not cooperative during the initial investigation or the search, which meant it took longer for them to take Rosado into custody.

Rosado climbed a fence around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday to escape from the Northwest Community Correction Center in Bowling Green, located at 1740 E. Gypsy Lane Rd.

After his escape, police listened to the recorded phone calls Rosado had made recently from the corrections center. They say they discovered he had told Merritt he was planning to escape. Police were in contact with Merritt throughout the day Thursday.

Police say Rosado injured his foot while escaping and was taken to the hospital for treatment before being taken to the Wood County Jail, where he will be charged with escape.

The search

"We are following up on some leads in town that we have developed, and hopefully we come up with a resolution rather quickly," said Bowling Green Police Major Tony Hetrick. "We know certain things about Mr. Rosado, and we're going to utilize to try to put together an area where he might be."

According to Bowling Green Police, video shows Rosado climbing a fence at the center and escaping at 8:14 p.m. Wednesday. Police say correction center staff noticed Rosado was missing during a headcount at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday.

"For a two hour period, there was no police pressure to catch this guy, and he could freely walk out of there, and could probably get pretty far and comfortable, without having to worry about someone catching him... so, we don't believe that he hunkered down anywhere during that time, because there was no immediate pursuit of him," said Tony Hetrick.

BG Police say they were notified of the escape at 10:06 p.m. and immediately began a search and coordinated with the Wood County Sheriff's Office to set up a perimeter. A K-9 unit from Perrysburg Township arrived and began tracking Rosado, but he was not located.

"Mr. Rosado made the decision to kind of jump the fence and take matters into his own hands. I feel our staff did their due diligence, but if an individual truly is motivated to do these types of things they'll make them happen," said Northwest Community Correction Center Executive Director Cary Williams.

Background

Rosado was indicted in June, accused of tying up and raping his ex-girlfriend in a Bowling Green apartment.

Police say Rosado entered the apartment and tied up the victim with duct tape. The victim's two young children were in the apartment at the time. A police report says her 10-year-old son heard his mother screaming. He went into the room and told Rosado, "Don't hurt my mommy.'" The victim told police she told her son to go wait in his room.

The victim told police she was repeatedly raped for hours, from the evening of Friday, May 16 until around 4:30 p.m. the next day. Police say the victim was eventually able to cut herself free from the duct tape with a knife, ran out to the parking lot and called for help.

"We were able to find him still on the scene. He had ingested some pills that knocked him out and he was still passed out in the bedroom so he was taken into custody. We charged him with aggravated burglary and one count of rape," said Tony Hetrick, Deputy Chief of Bowling Green Police.

Court records show Rosado pleaded guilty to a decreased misdemeanor charge of domestic violence in July and was sentenced to take part in a state program at the Northwest Community Corrections Center. The program usually only lasts between three to four months.

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