November 27, 2014


Man sues Elyria police over 2013 arrest

ELYRIA — An Elyria man sued seven Elyria police officers and an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper on Tuesday, accusing them of excessive force, false arrest and assault and battery when he was taken into custody while police were trying to prevent his son from committing suicide.

The lawsuit said that Bobby Hale’s daughter-in-law, Cassandra Hale, called 911 on Sept. 23, 2013, to report that her husband, Tony Hale, was trying to kill himself. Cassandra Hale had also called her husband’s parents and Bobby Hale, 68, went to his son’s house at 193 Spruce St. as well.

When police arrived, Cassandra Hale told them her husband had taken roughly 30 Xanax pills and consumed a bottle of Southern Comfort whiskey, according to a police report. Bobby Hale, police learned, was inside talking to his son.

Officer Scott Ashley, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, wrote that officers and Cassandra Hale went up on the porch and she opened the door and looked inside. She then closed the door and held the door handle.

Officer Paul Lesner, another defendant, took Cassandra Hale’s hand off the handle and police went inside. The lawsuit said that police shoved her out of the way.

They saw Tony Hale, who was holding a revolver, while Bobby Hale was holding his son’s wrists. Ashley wrote that Tony Hale managed to free the hand holding the gun and he began to raise it toward officers, but his father was able to again get control of his son’s hands.

Police told Tony Hale to drop the gun, but he refused and threatened to kill police, the report said. Ashley also wrote that Bobby Hale became upset as well, telling police he would get a gun and kill them if they didn’t “get the hell back,” Lesner wrote in his report.

But the lawsuit said that Bobby Hale “asked police to leave until he could calm his son down.”

Ashley and Lesner reported that they called for backup and several more officers arrived. Ultimately, the reports said, Tony Hale dropped the revolver on the stove and, after saying he would kill police, went outside.

Bobby Hale moved the gun to another part of the room before following his son.

Lesner wrote that Tony Hale continued to challenge officers, while Bobby Hale said, “Leave my son alone, get the (expletive) off my property, do not shoot my son.”

Tony Hale then began to take his shirts and pants off before walking off the porch and striking Officer Tom Orsik in the head. Orsik wrote in his report that he wasn’t injured.

The lawsuit said that Tony Hale was taking off his clothes “to show police that he was unarmed.”

Trooper Allen Marcum then shot Tony Hale with a Taser, dropping him to the ground, according to the report.

But Bobby Hale thought his son had been shot, telling officers, “You shot my son,” Lesner wrote.

Bobby Hale then tried to go back inside the house to get the revolver, Lesner wrote, adding that he drew his gun and repeatedly told Bobby Hale, “Don’t you do it.”

Ashley wrote that he and several other officers grabbed Bobby Hale and took him into custody.

The lawsuit mentioned nothing about Bobby Hale trying to get back inside to get the gun. Instead, attorney Terry Gilbert wrote his client was in fear and stopped when he was told.

Police, Gilbert wrote, then pulled Bobby Hale off the steps and threw him onto a picnic table and onto the ground before yanking him back to the picnic table, twisting him around and slamming him back onto the ground.

“Despite neighbors’ observations that Plaintiff Bobby Hale was not aggressive toward Defendants and only trying to diffuse the situation, he was nonetheless arrested and charged that evening,” Gilbert wrote.

After police put handcuffs on Bobby Hale’s left wrist they demanded that he give them his other arm, but he replied that they had broken his arm and he couldn’t give it to them, the lawsuit said.

“Defendant officers responded with excessive force, punching and kicking Plaintiff Bobby Hale as they verbally assaulted him with demands that he give them his injured right arm,” the lawsuit said. “Defendant officers took Plaintiff Hale to the patrol car, and with excessive force, shoved him into the car four times.”

It was only later that an officer looked at Bobby Hale’s arm, the lawsuit said, realized the damage and handcuffed him in front so he could be taken to the hospital.

The lawsuit said that the hospital discovered Bobby Hale had a dislocated elbow, a torn ligament, small fractures and other injuries.

Bobby Hale was originally charged with resisting arrest, obstructing official business and intimidation in the incident, but Elyria Municipal Court records indicated that all of those charges were eventually dropped and Hale pleaded no contest to a single charge of persistent disorderly conduct.

“The plea was made to bring this matter to an end,” the lawsuit said.

Tony Hale pleaded out to assault and aggravated menacing charges in the incident, according to court records.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Your son is suicidal and brandishing a firearm and you got in the way of the police officers doing their job? If they backed off and he shot himself or someone else in the house, you would be suing the police for not doing their jobs.

    Get out of the way and let the police handle it, dummy!

    • Michael

      Yeh. I can see where if the cops had left and his son had shot himself or someone else this loon would be suing the cops for leaving…

  • ken m

    maybe the daughter in law should be sued by the Elyria police department for calling 911 to begin with…..let see,they arrive, a person who is drugged and drinkin, has a handgun,threatens the cops, a father who becoming loud and not following orders……whewwmmmmmmm and now the cops are being sued for coming there,putting there lives on the line…I say, start bring multi million dollar lawsuits against these people for causing the bullshit to begin with, or better yet,they should call there attorney and let them come diffuse the situation or get shot..hell, they re making 500 bucks an hour, its the least they could do..oh,thats right,they don t pay the police 500 bucks an hour to come over……….

  • Mark B

    There is still a fine line in taking charge of the situation and police brutality, i am sure that both Elyra and the state of ohio will be paying lots of money at the tax payers expense all because a couple officers could not keep their cool !

    • Barb

      I agree. Lesner ruined my son’s life with lies in his police report…

      • Bob Sweatt

        Please explain rather. Why did Lesner write a wrote about your son?? Why was your son involved with the police department??

      • Zen Grouch

        **Lesner ruined my son’s life with lies in his police report…**

        So, your son’s life was just hunky-dory when he was in the habit of washing down dozens of Xanax pills with a fifth of Southern Comfort, and all was well until the filthy swine stuck their big nosy snouts into your family business?

    • Bob Sweatt

      Oh nevermind. I just read rather down and realized that you are the mother of Tony.
      Apparently you are delusional about your son’s behavior.

  • alreadyfedup1

    Police are trained, civilians are NOT. Guess what category you fall into. Don’t call the professionals if you don’t want the help.

  • Barb

    Lesner ruined my son’s life with his lies in his police reports.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      Wow, so how was his life before this…………………….bottle of pills and some southern comfort?……………….

    • Jim

      You owe your son’s life to the officers that showed up. You should consider yourself fortunate that they didn’t open fire on him as he aimed his weapon at them in a drunken stupor.

      Also, this lawsuit is going to go nowhere. The word of five or six professionals against apparently a lowlife and his family.

      • Zen_Grouch

        F@ck you Jim. Cops are crooked bast@rds that don’t care if they ruin your life as long as they get their rocks off.

    • beety

      Really? The drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal tendencies didn’t do it?

  • It has to stop

    Spruce St white trash at it’s finest. Out to get a paycheck via the city.

  • Rebecca A. White

    You don’t “diffuse” a situation, you “defuse” it.

    • jz

      Wrong. It’s diffuse. No such word as defuse.

      • It has to stop

        You would be wrong jz.

        Full Definition of DEFUSE


        : to remove the fuse from (as a mine or bomb)


        : to make less harmful, potent, or tense

        Examples of DEFUSE

        Skilled negotiators helped defuse the crisis.

        Her joke diffused the tension in the room.

  • Zen_Grouch

    Police in this town are corrupt anti-gay lawbreakers taking bribe money from the dealers in the W2100 block. Last time I was blowing a crack dealer there for my fix, we had to stop so he could pay this big cop and then I had to blow him too. Not that I minded, but it’s polite to ask before you stick it in.

  • GreatRedeemer

    So exactly how much of a payday is being asked for? I suspect the plaintiffs are familiar with the court system.

  • CrookedElyriaCops

    ive said it once and ill say it again,,,why does Elyria not have an internal affairs division..they have almost 100 officers,,you would think someone should be in charge of keeping them in line,,NO???? I mean is that too much to ask? they do whatever they want and get away with it and the SHEEPLE in this town follow them around like there little bo peep..i too think it has to stop!!!!

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Do you have some evidence of wrong doing or are you just demonstrating how much of a jerk you really are?

      • CrookedElyriaCops

        im just saying if theres nothing to hide why not have an internal affairs division,,most other large departments have them..and yes,,im a huge jerk!!!!

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          So you’re saying Elyria doesn’t have an Internals Affairs department?

          • CrookedElyriaCops

            no,,they don’t have one,,ive checked,,,,my question is simply WHY NOT?????

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Maybe you asked the wrong person?

          • CrookedElyriaCops

            if im wrong please correct me,,but ive looked into it quite a few times and the last time was told by and upper officer that they do not have one and the chief handles problems….again,,if someone on here knows different,,PLEASE let me know who runs it cause I really need to speak with him,,,

          • CrookedElyriaCops

            wow,,all the know it alls on here and no one can correct me??? HUMF!!!!

          • Zen Grouch

            Some things are beyond repair…

          • CrookedElyriaCops

            very true,,but this is one thing we can not ignore,,,

          • Zen Grouch

            You’d be surprised…

  • Matthew Gerhart

    Be glad they only used a Taser, by the sounds of this article they would have had every right to use deadly force, sounds like they acted with in their scope of escalation of force.. Next time do not call the police if you do not want their help. Now you people are really wasting tax payers money by suing and trying to get a free pay day but then again you probably do not pay taxes so what does that matter to you low life’s leaching off of the system..

  • Arietta Sullivan

    if their story is true then there is a fine line between getting the situation under control&police brutality.personally,i never had to ‘beat the day lights’ out of one of my kids to get control of a situation. the police was there to help out&the way the story read,they had their hands pictured everything in my head&i couldn’t imagine what both sides were going through on that day.well i hope the lawsuit doesn’t cause retaliation from the police dept. i knew a couple,20 years ago,that was suing the Sheffield Lake police dept&they harassed the couple every chance they had,i witness it with my own eyes&ever since used this experienced as a reminder of what the police can get away with and no proof for the couple to file for consequences. it isn’t who you know,it’s who you b*** so remember this when you try to sue a whole police dept.,i wish them luck,IF the brutality is true but the hell they may have to go through to the courtroom,during the courtroom&even after.good luck.

  • David C Johnson

    why were charges dropped?odd

    • Arietta Sullivan

      true i thought the same thing because the charges,that was pressed,the first time,fit the incident. this ‘plea bargain’ cr** shouldn’t even be a option for criminals,in the first place.

      • Zen Grouch

        He pled guilty to one charge and they dropped the other charges.

        It’s called a plea bargain.

        • Arietta Sullivan

          i know what it is but there shouldn’t be no bargaining of nothing.the other charges shouldn’t have been dropped cause that is what crimes were is what it is.just my opinion.

          • Zen Grouch

            Prosecutors are concerned with the Win/Lose column.

            Defendants are concerned with spending as little time in jail as possible.

            Through bargaining both sides basically get what they want with no surprises, at as reasonable a cost as possible.

            Now *justice* …well that’s another matter entirely.

          • Arietta Sullivan

            i know Zen. it’s just 1 of my pet peeve with plea bargaining&justice,the courts&against the criminals etc just irritates me especially in a situation with a victim/s.they didn’t/don’t have the choice of their plea.oh well what can be done..nothing.

          • Zen Grouch

            The victims mean nothing to the *Justice* system, because they usually cover the cost of being the victim, on their own.

            The system bends over backwards to appease the criminals to avoid costly law suits, or the expense of a long jail sentence.

            That’s why people who are already on probation, and again commit crimes, are yet again, given probation rather than actual punishment of any kind.

            It’s best if people lose all respect for the system, rather than risk paying out frivolous law suits.

            The real shame is… the only ones who are outraged by the way the system is, are the only ones who give a darn about following the laws…

            …the fools!

          • Arietta Sullivan

            so true to a lot of what you had to say.sad but true.especially,the victim covering the cost of being the victim,on their own.


    Police brutality is out of control nationwide. When I read these stories I automatically side with the citizens. 90% of all cops are professional, curtious and take pride in their profession. Unfortunately the remaining 10% of thug cops that can’t handle authority are DESTROYING the reputations of the mass majority of good cops across the country.
    All cops are being stereo-typed as bullies and corrupt. Eventually a good cop is going to get killed as the citizens fear of the police increases. Fellow officers who see this and do nothing about it automatically fall into the 10% “Thug” category.

    • Zen Grouch

      **All cops are being stereo-typed as bullies and corrupt.**

      Not by anyone who really matters…

  • Lydia Sinclair

    Elyria police are reputed to be trigger happy. This man was obviously in fear his son was going to be shot down. I, as a parent, would have probably reacted the same way

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Then. You. Are. An. Idiot.

      • Lydia Sinclair

        F#ck you, Larry and if you are the gutless kitten I think you are, prove me right and report me

  • Brian Griffin

    Whiskey, 30 Xanax, and a handgun. Now thats an Elyria party. The EPD likes to go home safe after the shift is over and this is the recipe for disaster. The family should be happy that they are all still breathing. Tony get help with your problem and I hope the ole mans arm in feeling better. The city officals need to grow a pair and don”t give this family anything but a bus ticket out of town.

  • CrookedElyriaCops

    you are so right about teaching our kids differently now a days..we cant tell them all cops are good and will help them.,,,,

    • Arietta Sullivan

      that’s all i’m saying just based on my experiences&or friends/family’s experiences.this lawsuit,i have notice that my mind goes back&forth,i can agree with the fact the cops were there to help&1 given time,the cops could have shot him,i was,personally,surprised to read this part of the story&they didn’t shoot him.i can see the point of they were there to help so why sue them but IF brutality happened then that is wrong&not helping.on the other hand,there was so much going on at once that so much confusion was going on,a gun involved,innocent people involved,that whatever it got under control without anyone dead. so i can see it both ways so i’m neutral on this story,all i’m saying is i have learned that cops are people too&i have taught my children ‘that just cause someone has a job,that society says ‘will help you’, doesn’t mean you will get the right help. good people makes bad decisions too&bad people makes bad decisions over&over&over&don’t learn nothing from their mistakes.not all cops are bad, not all are good cops but they all are human,stay out of trouble&you don’t have to worry about trying to figure it out.’

  • Arietta Sullivan

    over a debate,between a friend&me..i’m wondering why this man&his father wasn’t tackled down,in the house,after the gun was put up&i say BOTH men cause the dad was being very overprotective with his son,in which,is a typical response,for any parent,that cares but he was interfering but it happens. how did both men get pass the police,that was suppose to be inside,&both men got outside?? i understand i wasn’t there but i always thought as soon as the weapon is removed out of a situation,the police makes moves,as fast as they could,to put handcuffs,on the ones that are in trouble…

  • CrookedElyriaCops

    A Gallup poll from this past June found that white Americans are 60 percent confident in police, while non-whites checked in at 48 percent. But in recent years, public trust in police has slid. A 2009 poll found that 63 percent of respondents of all races said police had “very high honesty and ethical standards,” but that number dropped to 57 percent the following year.

    Many Americans have people employed as cops in their families, and use that fact to rationalize “the good” of the entire profession. Some are simply too afraid to say anything about obvious violent, thuggish behavior of cops, while others desperately want to hold onto what little Pollyanna Americana is left in their hearts. The facts speak for themselves as far as why Americans need to be proactive in protecting themselves against the largest and most heavily armed gang in the USA.