The Defiance Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has a new commander, Lt. Rustun Schack.
Schack, a 1999 St. Joseph’s High School graduate from Fremont, joined the patrol after completing the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in 2011. Prior to his assignment in Defiance, he was a sergeant and shift supervisor in Columbus for four years.
“This is my first post,” he said. “I took the transfer with my promotion.
“My focus is on traffic safety, specifically drunk driving, distracted driving and seat belts,” he said. “We ask that people focus on driving on the roadway. Don’t be distracted by electronic devices in your vehicle. Focus on getting from Point A to Point B safely.”
He played football in high school, as a defensive end to stop running backs and rush quarterbacks. That is still a useful professional skill. “There have been traffic stops that ended up in foot pursuits,” he said. “Sometimes we have to tackle them before we take them into custody.”
He also knows how to take a hit. In November 2019, Schack was in pursuit of a stolen Ford utility truck speeding west through Columbus on Interstate 270. When they got to Marysville, 30 miles northwest of Columbus, the driver crossed the median to avoid spike strips. When he got back on the road, Schack boxed him in against the guardrail with his cruiser, getting broadsided in the process. He was out of the hospital before his car was out of the garage.
Prior to his supervisory role, Schack was part of a K-9 team with Euro, a Belgian Melinois. “We made several drug busts in Columbus and went home every night,” he said. “The problem is dogs don’t live as long as humans.”
The previous Defiance Post commander, Lt. Robert Ashenfelter, transferred to the patrol’s Bowling Green Post.