MANSFIELD — The aroma of sizzling sausage and pancakes at Bob Evans stops when the restaurant closes at 10, but that didn’t stop a man from getting one last late-night whiff.
And he certainly paid for it.
Police allege Mansfield resident John Edmonds, 47, found himself stuck inside a ventilation shaft above the stove in Bob Evans — his legs dangling from the ceiling — at 3:17 a.m. Tuesday. Police called it an attempted break-in at the restaurant on 525 N. Trimble Road.
Police said Edmonds, armed with a pair of gloves, a flashlight, a putty knife, a cellphone and a face mask, used a ladder to climb onto the roof.
Edmonds removed the vent cover and then attempted to climb down the vent system and into the business, police reported. But somewhere along the way, something went wrong.
Edmonds’ foot tripped the fire alarm in the ventilation system above the commercial stove, police said. The 5-foot-7, 155-pound Edmonds became stuck inside the exhaust hood ventilation duct.
A subcontractor arrived at Bob Evans and heard the fire alarm sounding.
He walked into the kitchen and saw a pair of legs hanging over the stove.
The man called police.
Officers contacted the Mansfield Fire Department to help them remove the suspect from the shaft.
Firefighters used a 24-foot ladder to climb onto the roof to find the ventilation duct. A firefighter peered into the shaft, according to a report, and saw one of the suspect’s hands.
Firefighters tried using a reciprocating saw to cut into the ductwork from the kitchen, but that failed. They then threw a rope — tied in a handcuff knot — down the shaft. Edmonds placed that around his wrists. Several firefighters were able to pull him back up the ventilation shaft.
Edmonds then walked down the ladder and into the arms of waiting officers, who placed him under arrest on felony charges of breaking and entering and possession of criminal tools.
He was placed in handcuffs — real ones this time — and taken to Richland County Jail.