October 20, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
52°F
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Man says he was thrown into creek, but police doubt story

OBERLIN — Firefighters rescued a man from a creek Saturday after he said he was robbed, assaulted and thrown off a bridge, but the case has been closed after conflicting statements given by the man.

Dewayne Sturtevant, 60, of Oberlin, was rescued from Plum Creek in the area of Main and Vine streets after the Oberlin Fire Department was dispatched at 11:09 p.m. during a thunderstorm, according to Oberlin Fire Chief Dennis Kirin.

Residents of an apartment building apparently noticed Sturtevant in the creek, said Kirin, who wasn’t sure how long he’d been in the water.

Police were called after Sturtevant said he was assaulted, robbed and thrown over the bridge at Wright Park and into the creek, according to a police report.

Oberlin police Lt. Mike McCloskey said Sturtevant gave conflicting statements about what had happened that night, however.

Officers spoke with Sturtevant, who was transferred to Mercy Regional Medical Center for a possible shoulder injury, and police said he smelled of alcohol and admitted to consuming three beers and six shots of brandy at B-McK’s earlier that evening.

Sturtevant said he began walking to his Main Street home at around 8 p.m. when he decided to cut through Wright Park, where he said three people grabbed him and threw him into the creek. He told police he didn’t see the people, but he heard two of three male voices say, “Ha, ha, ha, you’re next” and “get him, get him.”

Sturtevant said nothing was taken from him, and he believed the individuals just wanted to inflict harm. He said he was in the creek for approximately two hours before he was rescued.

Officers met with Sturtevant again Sunday at his apartment, and police said he appeared to be intoxicated and noticed several cuts and scratches.

Sturtevant told police he didn’t remember much about the incident, and he later changed his story from the previous night, according to a police report.

He told police one of the men who approached him had a large buck knife, which he “karate chopped” out of the man’s hand during the confrontation. He also told police he left the bar at 10:30 p.m., and he consumed only two beers and three shots.

Police spoke with a bartender at B-McK’s who said Sturtevant had been in the bar and he left at 8:17 p.m. after paying. The bartender said Sturtevant was highly intoxicated, and he consumed approximately eight shots of Brandy and four beers at the bar.

Officers said the grass area adjacent to the creek was very steep, wet and slippery during the time of the alleged attack, and no knife was found at the scene.

The case was closed because there were no suspects or evidence and inconsistencies in Sturtevant’s statements, according to the report.

Rona Proudfoot contributed to this report. Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.