September 18, 2014

Elyria
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Temp tag theft leads to mistaken warrant

ELYRIA — Michael Izzarelli was sitting down to dinner after a day of playing baseball at his college when he got a call from his mother that Elyria police had issued a warrant for his arrest back in his hometown, over an hour away.

“I didn’t even get to finish my (dinner),” Izzarelli said, adding that he got in his car and drove home Wednesday to Elyria in order to tell police he was innocent.

Police say they mistakenly issued arrest warrants for Izzarelli, 18, and his friend Brandi Green, 19, after an incident Tuesday night.

About 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Elyria police Officers Jake Webber and Tom Orsik went to 310 East Ave. on a report that two people were in a car, possibly using drugs.

Officers arrived at the scene to find a woman in the driver’s seat and a man in the passenger’s seat, both of whom ignored police questions and requests to talk. When police asked the two to roll down their windows, the woman turned on the car and drove off, almost hitting Webber in the process, according to the police report.

When police ran the temporary tag numbers on the vehicle, the registration came back to Green. Because Green and Izzarelli were friends, Webber and Orsik assumed that they were the two suspects in the car on Tuesday and wrote arrest warrants for the teenagers, according to Elyria police Lt. William Pelko.

However Green and Izzarelli weren’t involved in the incident and had never met the two suspects.

Green had traded in the temporary tag weeks earlier for a permanent license plate.

When police were able to talk to Green and Izzarelli, they realized the two were not the suspects in the car and took back the warrant Thursday evening.

In the meantime, Yates Fallon, 18, and Keith Stone, 20, were charged on Thursday with obstruction of official business and resisting arrest for the Tuesday incident.

The original police report naming Green and Izzarelli already had been released, however, and an item about the incident appeared in the police blotter.

“I don’t even want to look at it,” Izzarelli said, adding that his high school coaches, friends and teachers had been calling him all day to ask about the report. “It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Pelko said that the two officers who mistakenly wrote arrest warrants for Green and Izzarelli are not going to suffer any repercussions.

“They were just doing their job,” he said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • Paul Salva

    i dont understand the part about trading in the temporary tag i have always cut my temp up

    • Don Grantzki

      If you are expected to surrender it, it must be something they have just recently come up with in order to enhance revenue. I always cut mine up and tossed them just as I do with old plates.

  • tickmeoff

    They were just doing their job. Good thing their job isn’t putting together airplanes. SSSHHHHHH! CRASH ! Oh well, we might have completely disrupted peoples lives and ruined their reputation, but that’s Ok, because were the police and we play by a different set of rules than everybody else! If they had any class, they would apologize. Great police work….NOT!

  • Bob Owens

    Unreal. Mike is an outstanding young man. I certainly hope that all of this will be deleted from his record.

  • Phil Blank

    There was a man and a woman in a car and they later arrest Yates Fallon, 18, and Keith Stone, 20?
    What happened to the woman suspect?
    And where the heck is LYRIA?

    • Victoria

      elyria is by north ridgeville and sheffield. The woman suspect is my best friend’s sister, so i can accurately say that she’s in county because of several warrants and has been charged with about 5 things.

      • Ann Harris

        they both in jail total bonds between 27000 for him and i believe 25000 for her

    • Ann Harris

      that was the woman fallon yates it was her car she stole the other person plates and put them on her car cuz her was expired and she didnt have money to get the she to busy smoking crack and doing herion

  • Nichole Smith

    Sure… they were doing their jobs… half a$$ed just like Elyria police always do.

    • Ann Harris

      i agree epd is worthless

  • John Boy

    Weird story. If they were breaking the law, why didn’t the police officers pursue the suspect? How did the police officers know the person who had the license plate was friends with Mike? Why did they assume that he was the one with her? Don’t the license plates (even temporary license plates) detail the make, model, year and color of the car? The police can issue a warrant for possibly using drugs?
    Either there is more to this story or terrible police work? What is the rest of story. There should have been more questions and more in depth reporting before running this story.

    • Ann Harris

      i dont think temp ones do just has month date year i believe

  • d c c

    so why couldn’t he finish his dinner?

  • MZee

    they were just doing their job? They did not identify the ones who ran, so drew up arrest warrants based on a temp tag? And a judge signed the warrants? So they arrest them THEN find out who was in the car? Is that how our innocent until proven guilty system works?
    Oh, I forgot. Collect who you can, let the courts figure it out.
    I must see too much justice on fake TV. This is the real world.

    • Don Grantzki

      Rest assured that somebody in the in-justice system made money off this snafu. One more reason to give Elyria a wide berth.

  • SandyLey

    “Webber and Orsik ASSUMED that they were the two suspects in the car on Tuesday and wrote arrest warrants for the teenagers” – Assumming Guilt is not a part of “Just doing thier jobs”. Shame on them.

  • Roxi Lisi

    A public apology should been given. I agree a mistake was made but we teach our children to ‘be the bigger person and own up to their mistakes’ as adults we should always own up to ours.

  • SweetScarlet

    I am shocked by how many people here are bad-mouthing EPD. Really? So you’d complain if they hadn’t tried to catch these people and just let them walk. Now you complain because they were trying to do their job. So I take it none of you have ever made any mistakes in your life? I had a mentor once tell me, “don’t be afraid to make a mistake–it means you’re trying.” These Cops have it hard out there, especially in Elyria. They don’t have enough patrolmen on staff. They don’t have enough money for operations. They get over 40,000 calls a YEAR. Be glad they were pro-active and trying to make the streets safer. These men and women put their lives on the line every day for the community. Show a little respect.

    • Ann Harris

      ive called them for weeks now giving their location and trying to have them picked up and epd wouldnt doin anything if they had took their tip seriously then this wouldnt of happened cuz they would be in jail already instead of tryin to run over cops

      • SweetScarlet

        With 40,000 calls a year, they have to prioritize the calls. Immediate life-endangering calls take precedence first. With costs and not enough officers on each shift, calls get backed up–so often times they do check out tips–but it could be hours later. There are so many accidents, domestics, ODs and other life-endangering calls, those have to come first.

    • John Boy

      I don’t think anyone complained about them doing their job. I think people were complaining about how poorly they might have performed their job. If this story is accurate they didn’t perform their job very well. How would you like to have a warrant out for your arrest because the police didn’t perform their jobs correctly?
      With great power comes great responsibility.

  • ao83

    Well I think the officers did the best they could. If you look at Keith Stone’s record, it is crystal clear that the judges in Elyria are far too forgiving. Domestic violence against minor F.Y. (hmmmm….possibly Fallon Young.) Also, a theft charge, he isn’t allowed within 500 ft. Of Troy Yates or his property (hmmmmmm…..possibly Fallon’s father???) hopefully Lisa Locke Graves can finish the job this time and lock both of these low life drug addicts up for a long time. Curious as to why neither of them were charged with fictitious plates/theft?? If i were Mike izzarelli I would sue them both for the trouble they caused.

  • Ann Harris

    tell me the system isnt jacked here all they he got was 60 days and she get to go home on probation

  • Zen Grouch

    **Green had traded in the temporary tag weeks earlier for a permanent license plate.**

    I didn’t know you were required to trade a temporary tag for a permanent plate?

    Thought you just ripped up the cardboard tag when you received the permanent plate…

    Anyway, if the kid turned in his temporary tag, who did he give it two, and how did it end up in the car of the lawbreaker?

    Sounds like there’s more to this than is being reported.

    • Ann Harris

      i agree but u know the authorities gonna make theirselves look good