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Escapee recaptured in downtown Steubenville

CAUGHT — Police officers put Richard Schoonver, the suspect in this morning’s standoff, into a car. -- Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — The 42-year-old burglary suspect who escaped police custody Friday morning at Trinity West Medical Center and, clad in a hospital gown with his legs shackled, carjacked a doctor, had been paroled by the state for a variety of crimes, authorities said.

Richard Schoonover, of 611 Lincoln Ave., was recaptured in the 300 block of South Fourth Street about an hour after fleeing the hospital. Police had cordoned off the 300 block but were held at bay for more than 30 minutes after Schoonover told them he’d taken a woman hostage.

County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Lamatrice said Schoonover is facing charges of second-degree felony escape and first-degree felony aggravated robbery because he indicated to the doctor he had a gun. He’s expected to be arraigned on the charges Monday in municipal court, Lamatrice said.

Police Chief Bill McCafferty said Schoonover had complained of chest pains following his arrest Thursday in connection with a string of breaking and enterings. In his report, the arresting officer said Schoonover “advised he was having a heart attack and further became dead weight and began to convulse his body, screaming for his mother.”

Police said they secured Schoonover with leg shackles and zip cuffs “due to his history of escape.”

“Whenever he gets caught he claims he’s sick,” McCafferty said.

Schoonover, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to several theft and break-ins in March 2017. He also was charged with break-ins at the JFK Apartments, Gaylord Towers and Fort Steuben Apartments in 2016 and taking a snowblower, carpet scrubber, air conditioner and cleaning supplies. He also was charged with taking two TVs from Trinity Medical Center, and the burglary of a house on county Road 38, Bloomingdale, in which a TV and surround-sound system were taken.

Schoonover also pleaded guilty to an escape charge for failing to report to his state parole officer.

Schoonover was released from a state prison in November 2018, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He was placed on parole through 2021.

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