November 28, 2014

Elyria
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Local briefs: Sept. 21, 2007


Parents who caged kids sue county

CLEVELAND — A couple convicted of forcing some of their 11 adopted special-needs children to sleep in cages has filed a federal lawsuit against county social workers and other officials, accusing them of illegally entering the home.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle, who were each sentenced in February to two years in prison for child endangering and child abuse, said Huron County social workers and sheriff’s deputies violated their constitutional rights when officials removed the children from the home in 2005 after receiving a tip about children sleeping in cages.

Man in parked car gets 7th DUI charge

LORAIN — A man convicted of six DUIs in the past 20 years is facing a seventh charge after he was picked up about 10 p.m. Wednesday when police were checking out his illegally parked Chevy Silverado on East 29th Street, according to Lorain police.

Juan Maldonado, 47, of Lorain, was also charged with driving under suspension and unsafe vehicle. In addition to the drunken driving convictions, police records show he has seven convictions for driving under suspension. He refused to take a breath test, police said.

Man bitten by dog while on walk

LORAIN — A 36-year-old Lorain man was bitten on his ankle by a brown Akita dog while walking on E Street at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Lorain police report said.

The dog was running in the area of Delaware Street and could not be located by police. The same dog bit a 4-year-old child in March, the report said.

14-year-old reports groping on street

LORAIN — A 14-year-old female student at Admiral King High School said she was walking north on Ashland Avenue at 3 p.m. Monday when a boy groped her buttocks and rubbed his pelvis against her, a Lorain police report said.

When the girl complained, the male pulled her behind a tree and unzipped his pants. She walked away and the boy left, police said.

The suspect was about 15 years old and had braided hair, the report said.

$400 in aluminum gone from bleachers

LORAIN — About 20 aluminum bars worth $400 were discovered missing from the Clearview football field visitors’ bleachers at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Lorain police report said.

A six-foot metal fencepost also was discovered to be missing near the bleachers. Video showed multiple thieves on foot and in cars entering the property over the weekend, the report said.

Copper reported stolen from building

ELYRIA — An Elyria man told police that someone broke into a Griswold Road property he maintains and stole various copper from the building, including ripping two drinking fountains off the walls and stealing the copper inside, a police report said.

The man called police at 9 a.m. Wednesday after noticing the items were missing. He said the thieves broke into the building through a maintenance door on the roof, the report said.

Once inside, the suspects ripped two drinking fountains off the wall and removed the copper pipes from inside of both; they also entered another room and cut copper pipes from a water heater and ripped copper wiring from three power distribution boxes, the report said.

The suspects also punched holes in drywall inside the building.

The building’s caretaker estimated the damage would cost thousands of dollars to repair, the report said.

Man arrested after McDonald’s incident

ELYRIA — An Elyria man who said he worked for the FBI and was trying to protect an employee at McDonald’s on Broad Street was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and intimidating a public servant, an Elyria police report said.

Darrell Johnson, 32, of Elyria, also was charged with criminal trespass.

Police were called to the restaurant about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, where they arrived to find seven employees standing outside the building waiting for them, the report said.

One of the employees said a man — later identified as Johnson — came into the store and was staring at a female employee, so a manager asked him to leave. Johnson became hostile and started yelling, and at one point kept an employee from leaving the building, the report said.

Before being arrested, Johnson told police he worked for the FBI and was “concerned about the safety of an employee,” the report said.

Landlord accuses employee of scam

ELYRIA — The owner of a Park Meadow Drive apartment complex told police that an employee was collecting rent from a tenant for the past year, but was reporting the tenant’s apartment as being vacant, an Elyria police report said.

The owner said he learned about the arrangement after the tenant reported it to him, police said.

The manager wasn’t charged, and the incident is still being handled by police.

Suspects arrested in pizza delivery theft

LORAIN — Two 20-year-old Lorain men who allegedly used a sawed-off shotgun to rob a pizza deliveryman late Wednesday were caught shortly after the incident, a Lorain police report said. 

Christopher Ybarra and Mario Benabe-Ruiz were both charged with aggravated robbery and obstruction official business, while Ybarra was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon because police found a shotgun in his jacket. 

Just before midnight Wednesday, police received a report that a Pizza Hut delivery driver had been robbed at gunpoint in the 2300 block of Kelly Place, the report said.

Officers headed to the scene found two men matching the suspects’ descriptions, though only one of the men — Ybarra — turned out to be involved in the incident, the report said. The second suspect — Benabe-Ruiz — was later arrested at his home after his family turned him in to police.

The victim, a 40-year-old man, said that he pulled up to a Kelly Place address to make a delivery and was confronted by two men who were on the porch of a home. One of the men pointed a sawed-off shotgun at the driver and told him to hand over his money, while the other man said, “He’s not joking,” and pointed a handgun at the driver, the report said.

The driver handed over his money — about $32 cash — as well as his wallet, and the two men told him if he called police they’d kill him. The driver called police after leaving the area, and officers later arrested Ybarra walking on West 23rd Street.

Mailman finds handgun in mailbox

LORAIN — A mailman in Lorain told police he found a .32-caliber handgun in a mailbox on Tuesday, a Lorain police report said.

The man called officers at 2 p.m., shortly after finding the weapon in a receptacle he used to hold mail from the mailbox. The man said he had emptied a blue curbside mailbox at the corner of Madison and Grace avenues on Tuesday, and the pistol must have been in the mailbox when he emptied it into his mail receptacle, the report said. Police took the weapon as evidence.

Pair arrested in Lorain robbery, assault

LORAIN — A Lorain man and woman were arrested early Thursday for allegedly busting into a West Ninth Street man’s apartment and assaulting him in an attempt to steal money the man was supposed to get from a pending civil lawsuit, a Lorain police report said.

Joe Taylor, 39, and Marissa Gutierrez, 19, were both charged with robbery and burglary.

The West Ninth Street resident told police that Taylor and Gutierrez stormed into his home at 1 a.m. Wednesday, when he opened the door after seeing them on his porch. The man said Gutierrez grabbed an umbrella off his porch and struck him with, while Taylor punched him and kept asking him for money, the report said.

The resident said the two assailants knew he had a pending civil lawsuit and suspected they were searching for money he didn’t have. Police later located both Taylor and Guiterrez and arrested them on scene. The victim suffered several small lacerations to his face, the report said.

Girls face charges after fight at LAK

LORAIN — A group of girls who were fighting during a game of basketball at Admiral King High School on Tuesday night are facing charges for assault and unruliness, a Lorain police report said.

The three girls — ages 15, 16 and 17 — were playing basketball during an open gym night when two of the girls began arguing. A girls basketball coach kicked both girls out of the gym and had them leave via separate doors, but the girls then regrouped just outside the school and began fighting, the report said.

When police arrived the girls were still hollering at each other, and the dispute stemmed from past disagreements the girls had, the report said. The police report was given to the school’s principal, while the officer also forwarded his report to the city prosecutor for possible charges.

Pit bull mastiff shot by police, survives

LORAIN — A dog running loose in Lorain on Tuesday was shot once by police, though it survived and was returned to its owner, a Lorain police report said.

Police were called to the 1300 block of Maryland Ave. at 7:22 a.m. after a woman reported that a pit bull was running loose and it wouldn’t let her get out of her car, the report said.

When Officer John Kovach arrived, the brown-and-white pit bull mastiff mix ran off briefly, only to return and charge toward a woman who was carrying a child. Kovach placed his cruiser between the dog and the woman, and tried to catch the dog, the report said.

When Kovach exited his vehicle, the dog ran toward him; he fired one round from his sidearm at the dog, which struck the animal in the neck, the report said, adding that the dog ran off but Kovach later found it on Sterling Avenue.

The dog was taken to Lorain Animal Clinic, where its female owner later claimed it. Despite the gunshot wound, the dog was not seriously injured, the report said.

Motorcycle crashes; driver goes to hospital

COLUMBIA TWP. – A dirt bike rider who wrecked his bike Thursday night in a field off Capel Road in Columbia Township was flown to a Cleveland hospital, Columbia Township Fire Chief Ray Anthony said.

Anthony said the rider — whose name and age were unavailable — was with a group of other dirt bike riders in a field just between Eaton and Columbia townships when he wrecked.

Sheriff’s deputies handling the crash investigation could not be reached for comment.

Anthony said the man’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, but firefighters opted to call in a helicopter to avoid transporting the victim through a bumpy field in an ambulance.

The man was conscious when firefighters arrived. He was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Anthony said.