September 19, 2014

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Court order takes Lorain officer off streets

LORAIN — A Lorain police officer was placed on paid leave and barred from carrying a gun after he was accused of showing up at the Amherst home of his estranged wife and threatening to kill himself with a gun, according to court records.

Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera said Officer Corey Earl, 45, was placed on leave Aug. 20 for what he called “medical reasons.”

The incident, the date of which could not be pinpointed, prompted Earl’s wife to obtain a civil protection order against Earl — the supporting paperwork for which detailed the allegations against him.

The order requires Earl to stay 500 feet from her and bans him from carrying a deadly weapon. A common pleas judge will decide soon how long the order should remain in effect, and then it will be up to Rivera to decide whether Earl can return to work if the ban on carrying a weapon remains in effect.

Neither Earl nor his wife could be reached for comment Wednesday, and Amherst police did not have a report of the incident on file.

The couple filed for divorce in March following 24 years of marriage, records show. They have three children, ages 18, 15 and 10, but it wasn’t known Wednesday if the children were home at the time of the incident.

Earl, who is also the head of the Lorain police union, is the third Lorain police officer to be placed on leave this year.

In March, Officer Jesus Sanchez was placed on paid leave after he was indicted on charges that he allegedly stalked a Lorain woman while on duty. Officer Stanley Marrero was placed on leave in June while the department investigates allegations he engaged in consensual sex while he was supposed to be patrolling the streets.

Recently, Rivera pulled two patrol officers from the Lorain middle schools and placed them on the streets in light of the recent rise in violent crime in the city.

Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka said that while losing officers is always an issue, he is in the process of hiring five more officers, which should bring levels back up to normal. 

“We’re doing background checks on them right now to get the numbers up to authorized levels,” Kobylka said.

If all five are hired, the police department would have 107 officers available for duty — only six fewer than the maximum it is authorized to employ.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.