Family, force deal with Dressel murderWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Detective Keith Dressel died doing a job he loved, colleagues and family members say.
“He’s an exceptional officer and he will be missed by all,” Toledo Police Department Chief Mike Navarre said. “He was a hero. He did his job and he did it extremely well.”
Dressel, 35, a member of the TPD since December 1993, died early Feb. 21 after being shot in the chest once at close range following the pursuit of 15-year-old North Toledo resident Robert Jobe.
“He was a great member of our family and of his own family as well,” said Ottawa Lake, Mich., resident Pam Dressel, aunt of the fallen detective. “We’re just really proud of what he did.”
Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, said Detective Dressel was loved by his coworkers. He said Detective Dressel shed a positive light on a job often done in the shadows of society.
“He made this job a more enjoyable place to come to,” Wagner said.
In a statement issued through his spokesman, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner called Dressel’s murder a “tragedy” and said, “The senselessness of this loss weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of his fellow officers as well as all of his professional friends and colleagues in the City of Toledo and our 300,000 citizens.”
Dressel is survived by his wife, the former Danielle Durham, 32, a 6-year-old stepdaughter, Sydney, a 4-year-old son, Noah, and his parents, Michael and Larraine Dressel of Ottawa Lake.
Funeral arrangements for Detective Dressel are being handled by the Bedford Funeral Chapel, 8300 Lewis Ave., Temperance. Visitation will be noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25. Dressel’s funeral will take place 11 a.m. Feb. 26 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 8330 Lewis Ave., Temperance.
Wagner and Pam Dressel said upwards of 2,000 to 3,000 police officers from around the Midwest are expected to attend the Feb. 26 funeral.
Donations to the Keith Dressel memorial fund can be made at the Toledo Police Federal Credit Union branches at 525 N. Erie St. and 4280 Heatherdowns Blvd., and Toledo Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union, 2800 W. Laskey Road.
Jobe, Detective Dressel’s accused killer, has been charged by police with aggravated murder with a gun specification in Detective Dressel’s shooting. The Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion requesting Jobe be certified to be tried as an adult for his alleged criminal conduct.
Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge James Ray said at a hearing Feb. 22, it could take weeks for him to decide whether to certify Jobe to stand trial as an adult. Ray ordered Jobe to be detained at the Lucas County Juvenile Detention Center until another hearing set for 9 a.m. March 15.
If Jobe is tried as an adult and convicted on the aggravated murder charge, he cannot be sentenced to the death penalty. In the case of Roper v. Simmons, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March 2005 the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment for those who committed crimes less than 18 years of age, thus making it barred by the Constitution.
Detective Dressel, a member of the TPD’s vice and narcotics unit, was on routine patrol in North Toledo just before 2 a.m. Feb. 21 when he and fellow plainclothes detectives William Bragg and Todd Miller spotted Jobe and 19-year-old Sherman Powell walking along the 1400 block of North Ontario Street. When the officers exited their vehicle to attend to what they believed was a curfew violation, Jobe and Powell fled in opposite directions.
Powell was immediately taken into custody by Bragg and Miller. Detective Dressel pursued Jobe, who fled northbound on Ontario toward Bush Street.
Navarre said a brief struggle occurred after Dressel grabbed Jobe’s clothing. The youth allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot Dressel at close range. Dressel fired six rounds after being shot, Navarre said, though none of his rounds hit Jobe.
Dressel was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time because it was not typical for vice officers to wear the safety devices, Navarre said.
Dressel was immediately transported to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 2:36 a.m. Navarre said the bullet went through several of Dressel’s vital organs and heart; a .38-caliber slug was recovered from his body.
“He did not fire first,” Navarre said of Dressel. “We know that with certainty.”
Though Jobe was able to flee the scene of the crime, he surrendered himself without incident just before 11 a.m. at an apartment at 722 Bush St. Police used tracking technology to determine Jobe’s exact location by monitoring cell phone calls he had made to his probation officer prior to the arrest.
Navarre said he believes his officers approached the teens before a possible drug transaction.
Police recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon around 6:30 p.m. that night near the Willis B. Boyer ship museum in East Toledo after a “cooperating witness,” only identified as a friend of Jobe’s, led them to the location. A five-shot .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver with four bullets and one spent shell was recovered.
Navarre said the cooperating witness may not be charged with a crime.
Powell appeared in Toledo Municipal Court early Feb. 22 on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon and obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. Powell is scheduled to appear in court again March 1.
Though injuries Powell sustained from his arrest were consistent with those of someone tackled to the pavement, Navarre said police would review the incident to ensure proper procedures were followed.
“I assured his mother and him … that we will look at all aspects of this investigation,” Navarre said.
Navarre said he did not detect any remorse from Jobe.
“He didn’t show any emotion,” Navarre said.