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State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari Ride Along with Ohio State Highway Patrol Results In Decade Long Sentence for Gunman

August 9, 2022
Haraz N. Ghanbari News

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State Representative Haraz N. Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, testified Tuesday during the sentencing of Graig Lamont Gibson by Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew L. Reger. Gibson, 32, was indicted Jan. 20 by a grand jury on six felony charges and four misdemeanors resulting from a New Year’s Day incident on State Route 25, which occurred during a ride along by Ghanbari with The Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

As Trooper Von Sacken of the Patrol’s Bowling Green Post was performing a field sobriety test on the driver of the car stopped for a marked lanes violation, the trooper and Ghanbari heard a single gunshot north of the stop. Shortly thereafter, a man not affiliated with the traffic stop was walking south on State Route 25. The man, later determined to be Gibson, advised he had run out of gas. Soon after conversing with the trooper, Gibson attempted to pull a handgun on the trooper and subsequently shot himself in the right leg.

The trooper and Gibson both went to the ground as the trooper called “officer in trouble.” Ghanbari came to the aid of the trooper and attempted to locate the weapon as Gibson was handcuffed. Ghanbari, who retrieved a first aid kit from the cruiser, applied a tourniquet to Gibson’s right leg with the assistance of Patrol Sergeant Katie Banks who was the first backup unit to arrive on scene and provided further aid with the assistance of Von Sacken.  

The successful outcome of this New Year’s Day incident is a testament to the quick thinking and bravery of Trooper Von Sacken. Thankfully no one else was physically injured or killed as a result of Gibson’s decisions. 

Reger sentenced Gibson to 11 mandatory years with a maximum of 15 years in prison. Tuesday’s sentencing now allows Ghanbari to comment on this incident.

Ghanbari, a staunch supporter of law enforcement and first responders, launched a nationwide challenge dubbed “#RideAlongAndLearn,” during a press conference last year at the Statehouse in Columbus. He is renewing his call for elected officials and key leaders across the country to engage with their local law enforcement and first responders. 

“Trooper Von Sacken is an example of the best our nation has to offer in law enforcement, and his service is a credit to The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the women and men who wear the badge,” Ghanbari said. “I believe it is important for elected officials at all levels of government to ride with law enforcement officers to get a full appreciation for the challenges and responsibilities that they face every day.”