December 19, 2014

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Kipton officials report threats

KIPTON — Village Councilwoman Dorothy Collins and Mayor Dennis Watson were the target of several harassing telephone calls days before they met to discuss disbanding the troubled police force, which has been marred by suspensions, state investigations and resignations that have left the small town without a police department.

Collins, one of six Kipton Village Council members elected in 2005 to a four-year term, contacted the Lorain County sheriff’s office on Aug. 5 to report that an unknown female called her home and threatened her at least twice. The caller dialed from a private number that did not show up on Collins’ caller ID, a sheriff’s report said.

The first call, received at about 10 p.m., was quick. The caller told Collins that the sheriff was en route to her home to take her to jail. The woman then hung up, Collins told deputies.

The second call came about 10:12 p.m. Collins did not answer the phone, but a 15-second message was left on her answering machine. The report said the female caller could be heard saying “you and the mayor are going to go down. You will be cuffed up and taken away for lying. You will get yours.”

Watson contacted the sheriff’s office Aug. 6 to report he received similar calls.

The calls came two days before Watson and the Village Council’s Police Committee met with Sheriff’s Capt. Richard Resendez to discuss the possibility of eliminating the village’s police department.
Elimination became unnecessary Wednesday, however, after the village’s last two active officers turned in their badges.

Collins was noticeably upset by the telephone calls, the report said. She told deputies she firmly believed they were related to the investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies instructed Collins and Watson to contact their telephone providers and inquire about having their lines set up for a call trace that could pinpoint any future incoming anonymous telephone calls.