WATCH | Bodycam captures murder suspect's arrest

BRATENAHL, Ohio-- Police here have only been wearing body cameras since early this summer.

Police Lt. Chuck LoBello says officers now routinely put on their gun and camera to go on duty.

The capture of a dangerous suspect over the weekend is a dramatic illustration of the camera's value.

It showed officers' heroic behavior arresting a man who told Cleveland Metroparks rangers to "do what you have to do," an apparent attempt at committing "suicide by cop."

Bratenahl police joined Metroparks Rangers and Cleveland Police in pursuing Jeffery Conrad through Euclid Beach Park.

He and another man were stopped by rangers for being in the park after hours.

Conrad waved a big hunting knife at rangers and took off.

He told rangers, "I'm schizophrenic and I'm suffering from psychosis."

At the time, police did not know he was the prime suspect in the fatal stabbing of Amanda Russell, his ex-girlfriend, at her Cuyahoga Falls home.

Rangers and police gave chase as Conrad went into Lake Erie.

Bratenahl Officer Robert Pitts' bodycam was rolling as Pitts and a park ranger tried to reason with Conrad to put down the knife and surrender.

An almost nine-minute video shows the standoff.

Finally, Pitts was able to get close enough to use a taser Conrad.

Pitts and officers struggled in the water before he was disarmed and subdued.

Lt. LoBello said Pitts' calm and courage helped end the dangerous situation without a loss of life.

And he said Pitts can expect an award for his conduct.

Cleveland Police are in the process of ordering bodycams for officers. They hope to get bids, make the purchase and have officers wearing them early next year.

Follow WKYC's Senior Poltiical Correspondent Tom Beres on Twitter: @TomBeres


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