Herald Staff Writer
Officials from three agencies are investigating what police say appeared to be a late-afternoon suicide at the Barberton City Jail.
Timothy Strausser, 30, of First Street Southeast, was found dead in his cell a little before 5 p.m. June 10. Strausser had been confined to the jail since around 4 p.m. the previous day, arrested on felony drug possession, having been found with methamphetamine, along with a few related misdemeanor counts.
Police say officers and paramedics worked to save Strausser but were unable to revive him. Police declined to say how the death occurred.
The matter is being investigated by the Barberton Police Department, the Bureau of Adult Detention and the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office.
Police were called to a Rubber Street address around 3:20 p.m. June 9 for a trio of people banging on a front door. They arrived to find Strausser and the other two sitting on the porch. Police say that as they approached, the three had trouble sitting still and were looking around; Strausser and one of the others also kept reaching into their trousers.
Officers ran the trio through the database and learned Strausser had a warrant out against him through the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. During a pat-down, they found a meth pipe in his pocket and a baggie of meth on the porch behind where he was sitting. A bindle of a crystalline substance was in his pocket, along with a marijuana joint.
A book bag was on a table near where Strausser was sitting but all three denied ownership. Inside was a .22-caliber handgun; police say it did not appear to be operable. Also in the bag was some paperwork in one of the other’s name; he swore someone must’ve planted it there. Police gave the man back his book bag.
The Summit County Jail did not want Strausser on the warrant due to the pandemic so Barberton Police booked him into the city jail on the felony drug charge. The other two were not welcome at the house they were at so they picked up their stuff and left.