December 21, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
30°F
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Developing story: Standoff in Ridgeville

Cole surrenders and faces charges — 1:18 update

North Ridgeville police just sent out a news release providing further details of this morning`s incident.

According to police:

A caller told police just after 6 a.m. today that Christopher Cole, former president of the company, had broken into Puritas Metal Products. The caller said he thought the man had a gun.

When officers arrived, Cole told them he was frustrated over how long the legal battle with the company was taking. He said he was the president of the company and he had work to do. He admitted he had a gun and eventually turned it over to police.

Cole told police he would get out if Judge Mark Betleski told him to. Police called Betleski who told Cole to get out.

Cole, 43, surrendered 30 minutes later. He was wearing a bulletproof vest.

He was charged and was to be arraigned later today with breaking and entering, obstructing justice, inducing panic, vandalism and carrying a concealed weapon onto a prohibited premises.

Details of Cole`s tie to the company and whether he was or had been its president are not yet clear.

Not the first time Cole had problems with company — 1 p.m. update

Christopher Cole, the former president of Puritas Metals, has been locked in an ongoing legal battle for control of the company since 2006 with other owners of the company, the Cook family.

The situation escalated in June of this he returned from a trip out of the country and found himself out of a job. Cole was charged with trespassing by North Ridgeville police on June 27 after he refused to leave the premises. That charge was ultimately dropped.

Since then Cole and his opponents for control of the company have fought each other in the courts, seeking to have the others barred from the premises and to have a judge determine who ultimately should control the company.

 

Man breaks into Puritas Metal

An armed former Puritas Metal Products top official broke into the 7720 Race Road business around 6 a.m. and locked himself in the building, refusing to come out.

Christopher Cole, 43, told police that he was the president of the company and that he had a lot of work to do.

Police successfully negotiated with Cole eventually getting him to over his weapon and ammunition. After two hours, Cole surrendered peacefully and was arrested.

He has been charged with several felonies and is expected to be arraigned in Elyria Municipal Court later today.

No employees were inside the building during the standoff and no one was hurt.

Puritas Metal employees have returned to work.