Ohio lawmaker proposes memorial to honor slain police chief who graduated from Washington High School


A state lawmaker wants to honor a slain Ohio police chief by renaming part of a road for him.

Eric DiSario, a graduate of the Washington C.H. High School Class of 1997, had been police chief in Kirkersville for only three weeks when he was fatally shot May 12 while responding to reports of an armed man at a nursing in the city about 24 miles (39 kilometers) east of Columbus.

The (Newark) Advocate reports that state Sen. Jay Hottinger introduced a proposal this week to designate part of U.S. 40 as “Steven Eric DiSario Memorial Highway.”

DiSario was killed by 43-year-old Thomas Hartless. The domestic violence suspect also fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and her co-worker at the nursing home before killing himself that day.

The Republican lawmaker’s proposal would rename the Kirkersville portion of U.S. 40 for DiSario.

Locally, those who attended school with DiSario established a scholarship fund in his name. Fayette County schools hope to award a $500 scholarship each year to a graduate interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, according to deputy health commissioner at the Fayette County Health Department, Leigh Cannon.

“I have a lot of memories of Eric, however, I will never forget his smiling face as he whipped around the skating floor like an Olympian. He could skate like no one I had ever seen before,” Cannon told the Record-Herald in a May interview. “Many tried to beat him at the races and many failed. I have a lot of memories growing up at Roller Haven, but he is one of the first people I think of when I think of my skating days. I know he is winning all of the skating races in heaven with that wonderful smile on his face, and he will forever be close to my heart.”

Donations to the local school scholarship fund can be mailed or dropped off at Washington Court House City Schools C/o treasurer, 306 Highland Ave., Washington C.H., Ohio 43160. Please mark the check memo line or designate the funds to: “The Class of 1997 Eric DiSario Memorial Scholarship Fund.”

Each year, the schools will award a $500 scholarship depending on the amount of funds they receive. Since he was killed in the line of duty, it will be requested they try to give it to a graduate who’s interested in law enforcement, Cannon said.

DiSario was born in Salem, Ohio. Prior to becoming the police chief in Kirkersville, he was a part-time deputy marshall with the Brice Police Department, auxiliary officer with the Millersport Police Department, and in 2013 he volunteered as an auxiliary officer for the Lithopolis Police Department.

Record-Herald staff contributed to this article.

The Associated Press

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