October 23, 2014

Elyria
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UPDATED: Man taken into custody after standoff in Eaton Township

Lorain County Sheriff SWAT team members move toward the home on Eaton Boulevard as they guide a robot. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Lorain County Sheriff SWAT team members move toward the home on Eaton Boulevard as they guide a robot. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

EATON TWP. — Neighbors said they saw a man yelling on his front lawn with his 10-month-old son before he locked himself and his son inside their home for nearly six hours.

Multiple police departments, police dogs and an armored vehicle waited for hours outside the man’s house in the 12500 block of Eaton Boulevard before taking the man into custody about 9 p.m. Thursday.

It began about 3:30 p.m. when neighbors called police because they saw the 40-year-old man yelling on his front lawn with his son, said Capt. Jim Drozdowski of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies saw the man take his son inside where he stayed, refusing to answer police or come outside.

Linda Bragg, right, talks on the phone to her son, who was holed up inside his home. At left is the man's brother.

Linda Bragg, right, talks on the phone to her son, who was holed up inside his home. At left is the man’s brother.

Though police don’t believe the man had guns in his house, Drozdowski said they were concerned about neighbors’ safety and called other police departments to the scene. Drozdowski said the incident might have stemmed from a dispute the man had been having with his neighbors.

“He’s non-confrontational,” said the man’s brother, Charles Bragg, saying that’s a possible explanation why he locked himself in his house.

Lorain County SWAT, an armored vehicle and police from Grafton, Avon Lake and Wellington arrived about 5 p.m.

“He’s never been in trouble before,” said Linda Bragg, the man’s mother. “I don’t think he’s even gotten a speeding ticket.”

Bragg said her son is a good father and a stay-at-home dad who “takes care of his baby.”

Despite police officials’ repeated attempts to contact the man, he turned up his music and refused to leave his house until his mother was able to reach him over the phone about 8 p.m.

“He said he didn’t do anything wrong,” Charles Bragg said.

About 9 p.m., Lorain County SWAT went up to the house and took the man into custody.

He was brought out of the house yelling, “Why are you doing this to a civilian?”

The man’s infant son was unharmed and the man was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center for evaluation. He was not charged for the incident Thursday.

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


  • Cheryl E Keiffer

    Prayers to all of the people involved here.

  • Abbie

    All this because he was being loud in his front yard?

    • Mark B

      Police are out of control , are you next? All it takes is a call from a nosy neighbor and here come the armored vehicles. This could of been worse with trigger happy cops eager to shoot their toys. Another instance of over reacting , that’s 2 this week .

      • Phil Blank

        Every idiot out there now wants to play hero and calls the law.
        Now it is Politically Incorrect to yell at your children.

        • luvmytoaster

          He was yelling on his lawn with his 10 month old, that sounds borderline crazy. What we don’t know is what or to whom he was yelling but it sounds like he wasn’t thinking rationally.

          If he had no issues with anyone then why did he lock himself inside for 6 hours?

          • Joe Smith

            Every person has yelled in their lifetime and if the police have no probable cause, and yelling is not probable cause unless he was yelling threats, then he can lock himself in his house just because he feels like it and it is not the police’s business more or less a reason for armored vehicles and SWAT teams.

            I think the police look more crazy with SWAT, armored vehicles, shields and rifles when they admit they didn’t think he had firearms than a man yelling in his own yard.

            I am so glad I got out of law enforcement.

            I hope more facts come out of this to justify the over response, if not, what a great police state future we have to look forward to.

          • Barbara Radke

            Because it is his house and he can if he wants to. I do it all the time. Lots of drug crazies out there now days forcing you to do things like lock your doors when you are inside.

      • newofsl

        Mark is absolutely right! When I read this story I could not believe it! Multiple police depts, police dogs, and an ARMORED vehicle for 1 man who went into his house and locked his door? Only cops or someone related to a cop would justify this. The police are abusing people way too much in this country every day and citizens better wake up and find ways to stop it. They are OUR servants! We pay their wages. They should treat us respectfully. I would be petrified if they were outside my front door for no reason too. Unless he was yelling that he was going to kill someone this is so wrong!

  • Frank Siegfried

    So what was he doing that prompted somebody to call the police?? from the article, it appears nothing.

    • Simon Jester

      Contempt of cop, that most heinous of all possible offenses.

    • luvmytoaster

      I think the neighbors feared for the safety of the child, just my guess.

  • Joe Smith

    Swat teams and armored vehicles over yelling in your yard, the militarization of police is getting out of hand

    • Phil Blank

      I hear they are getting tank next.

    • Jim

      Do a search for “Why Does a Florida County Need Eight $18 Million Helicopters?” Why did they buy Apache Attack Helicopters?

  • Simon Jester

    Completely out of line, and a perfect example of why the police don’t need military hardware. They were itching to play with their new toy, and just had to bring it out.

    What laws did this man break? What justification is there for overwhelming force? A bit of honest police work would’ve made this a non headline, but the Sheriff’s Dept had to justify the expense of their new plaything.

    If I’m in my house, having obviously broken no law, and the local LEOs show up with an MRAP.. I’m going to assume they’re there to do me harm and respond accordingly.

    • RMM

      I completely agree! If the whole story is here – no one was threatened, no one was hurt…the Sheriff came and the man was in his house with the baby and everyone was calming down. Why call three other police depts and SWAT? He wasn’t bothering anyone. Why do the police feel the need to be involved once they find the fight was over and no past history of trouble with this man? If there is nothing more to this story, then this is one of the most pathetic stories of police abuse of power and waste of our tax money! Appalling that our law enforcement has such a shameful lack of judgement.

    • Joe Smith

      You respond in any aggressive fashion, you would have 200 bullets in you and would be labelled an evil right wing tea party ninja of death.

      • Simon Jester

        Spot on and sickeningly true.

  • Stan K

    I believe that street is in the “Eaton Estates”. Reminds me of a white “middle avenue” Nothing but the dreggs of society living there.A combination of Heroin addicts and nascar fans

    • rachel

      Stan, you are apparently an uninformed and uneducated individual to make a comment about anyone living in Eaton estates. I personally just moved there and am searching for reasons why the neighborhood has that reputation. I have met many hardworking friendly families there that are probably much more giving, thoughtful and non judgemental than yourself. Read or watch the news and you will see that heroin is everywhere. Probably next door to you. And since when did liking nasar become something negative? I’m sure you like something that others don’t that another uneducated moron such as yourself could label you in the same negative manner you did the residents of Eaton. My advice is to stop passing judgment on something that you don’t know and instead take a drive to Eaton and meet the human beings that live there. You might just find out they are just the same as you and me.

      Thank you for reminding me about what I need to continue to teach my children. We are all humans. We bleed the same and love the same. Ignorance is a poison.

  • Phil Blank

    Hear that parents?
    Never yell at your children, then ground them in your locked home.
    Someone may call the police and interrupt nap or or pull you away from what you were doing.

  • COYOTE

    EXCUSE ME??!! DREGS OF SOCIETY DOES NOT APPLY HERE, THERE ARE A LOT OF HARD-WORKING BLUE COLLAR FOLKS HERE…THIS GUY CLEARLY HAS ISSUES…IF THIS WOULD HAVE “WENT SOUTH” YOU’D ALL BE SINGING THE PRAISES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!

    • Bob

      Agreed. But some people hate the police.. oh until they need them. Then guess who is the first person they call.

      • Joe Smith

        People hate attorneys too, that does not make them completely useless, same for police.

      • newofsl

        yes Bob we pay the Police to do a job but that does not justify what they did here.

    • Mark B

      Or Sheriffs end up shooting themselves like they did in Lagrange a few years ago

  • Earl Jennings

    “Why are you doing this to a civilian?”
    That’s a pretty good question. Why couldn’t a single officer just gone up and knocked on the door like a good neighbor? It would have been a 10 minute call.
    Guarantee you that if the law shows up at my house with an MRAP and a swat team I’m not coming outside. Apparently somebody needs to review the 4th amendment.

    • S.A.

      Well, a single officer did go up to the door a few years back in Elyria…he’s remembered every year around March 15th…that may be one of the many reasons why…

      • Joe Smith

        Officers get killed during a simple traffic stops for speeding, does that mean they should use armored vehicles and SWAT teams when they pull someone over?

        • S.A.

          How about we be a little more realistic. This wasn’t a traffic stop they were being called to but if it keeps them safe, do what they have to do.

          • Joe Smith

            Realistic would not be sending SWAT teams and armored vehicles for someone yelling in his own yard.

      • Mark B

        He went into the house , which is what he shouldn’t have done

        • Earl81704

          Why not? it was, apparently, his house. A citizen is under NO obligation to stick around and talk to the cops. Period. Ever. Every single time. It might be nice to say hello and socialize, but when a cop is talking, he’s working and looking for probable cause to arrest somebody. Also period. End of discussion.

          Quite frankly I do wish we lived in Mayberry and could have a pleasant conversation with Sheriff Andy. But Andy didn’t have an MRAP and a Swat team. What’s up with that?

          • S.A.

            He’s responding to my comment regarding the police officer, not the article

          • newofsl

            Common sense was nowhere to be found here!

        • newofsl

          Why not

      • Earl81704

        I’m not arguing that a law enforcement officer has a tough job, yet they aren’t soldiers and shouldn’t act like them. While none of us really know the facts about what happened here, based upon the reporting, the guy was yelling in his yard. What was he yelling? Having a bad day? Yelling at the dog? Yelling at the kids who threw a baseball through his window? Or yelling that he was going to hurt himself or somebody else? Big difference. And while I would agree that you generally have a happier life if you don’t go around yelling, yelling is part of that tricky 1st Amendment thing.

      • newofsl

        That does not justify this either

  • Sis Delish

    I certainly hope that the father wasn’t just venting during a commercial break watching the World Cup.

  • John smith

    The man was acting out of control with an infant in his possession. Law enforcement was called to check on the welfare of both. Unfortunately the man refused to cooperate with police officers present and ran into his house. Law enforcement officers have a sworn duty to protect and preserve life. If the police would have not taken the same action and either of the two, specifically the infant were harmed, the public would have questioned law enforcement actions. In today’s society police officers have a very difficult job due to the public scrutinizing all of their actions, not to mention EVERYONE has weapons. Lets appreciate what they do for us and keep in mind we may require the services of an officer sometime in our life. It is easy to play Monday morning quarterback without knowing all the facts. Great job Lorain County SWAT. Due to YOUR actions everyone was safe last night!!

    • Mark B

      Talking Loud is acting out of control ? How many are scared to call the police for help because it often turns out badly , or blown way out of proportion.

    • Joe Smith

      Since when is yelling in your own yard “out of control”? I will appreciate a officer who respects the citizens rights and acts reasonable and the SWAT team escalated the situation where it could have gone wrong fast.

      I agree we need to know more facts, if he was yelling threats then ok, if he wasn’t, the police need to be disciplined for over reacting and possibly turning this into a shoot out.

      You don’t go after someone in their own home with what amounted to a military type action without a very good reason.

      Back in the day, one or two officers would have showed up and talked to the guy and would likely have it resolved in 15 minutes without freaking out and calling in a SWAT team and armored vehicles.

    • Earl81704

      Wait, seriously? He had an infant in his possession?! Well, then, that makes it all a-ok. I had no idea he had kidnapped an infant.

      Oh, wait. It was his child. While we maybe ought to have a test to become a parent, any old moron can have a kid these days. Given that, I’m not willing to subject my children to random welfare checks by the police state.

    • Bill610

      Due to THEIR actions? If he was going to harm his kid, he had six hours in which to do so, so SWAT made no difference whatsoever in everyone being safe. All this proves is that the guy didn’t intend to harm anyone, and that SWAT managed not to accidentally kill anyone–which has happened more than once before.

  • Pete

    How many of you would be jumping back over the fence if the man would have killed his child because they didn’t act? Police are damned if they don’t and damned if they don’t.

  • Oneday67

    I love the picture. From right to left. On the right the guy who bought pants from someone who has one leg shorter than the other is looking at the camera man. Behind him is a guy who looks like he is about to shoot anything that moves. The next guy is admiring the size of that armored vehicle. Tatoo guy is on the megaphone using the large armored vehicle as a table and behind him is a newbie in awe of what is happening. Next is two people trying to figure out the cord reel. Last is people laughing at the two trying to figure out the cord reel. I’m glad everything went ok and I’m sure they are all very professional.

  • Renee Yvonne Hatfield

    Why the He!! are they taking a vic like this to a barricade situation that is in a residential area? Thats like taking a .50 Cal to a sword fight. ( A government at war with its citizans )

  • Bob

    Why Why Why???

    Hostage situation. The law enforcement acted accordingly. They did not know what they had when the guy walks back into his. it is standard procedure to call in the SWAT team.

    My Why is. Why did this guy make a BEEF with his neighbors turn into a 6 hour long hostage situation?

    You all want to judge the police for going overboard. Which i don’t think they did. This could have end so much more badly. it is probably because of the police present that this whole mess ended happily for all involved.

    The original story said that the guy run into his house with his child when he saw ONE police car coming down the street. ASK yourself WHY he did that. WHY did he just stay outside and TALK with the patrolman when he pulled up to this guy.

    The fact that this guy grabbed his kid and run into his house then barricading himself in the house is what prompted the use of the SWAT team and the armoured vehicle.

    You people commenting on this know what happened. But the policemen didn’t have foresight into what would happen. In my opinion they acted in the best interest of the child involved.

    If you have a problem with law enforcement and the way they do their jobs. Then next time someone is breaking into your house with a gun. Call the fire department and see what happens.

    • Earl81704

      Bob, seriously, step away from the keyboard. At present, I have a hostage situation in my home as well. The two kids, the wife, the two dogs, the cat, and the turtle. And I’m in here with ‘em all too. Yeah, we live here. It’s my family.

      You ask why he didn’t want to talk to the cops? Maybe he was worried they’d arrest him without probable cause and take him to jail? Just like they did.

      A citizen has zero obligation to talk to the man. In fact, that a pretty major rule violation. Talk to the man and you’re likely going to get locked up.

      “The best interest of the child”? Seriously? Maybe the dad knew what was best for his child?

      • Bob

        6 hours. So the dad thought it was in the best interest to keep “the man” busy for 6 hours.

        He was arrested because he was a complete dumba$$.

        If he did NOTHING wrong. Then why oh why did he barricade himself in his house for 6 hour.

        • Phil Blank

          Where does it say barricade?
          It doesn’t, he locked the doors, same thing most peple do several times a day.

        • Jim Parnes

          Bob = Dik for brains.

    • Phil Blank

      Don’t forget, a lot of truth is left out of many article when dealing with the police!

    • newofsl

      This is a ridiculous post totally!

    • Jim Parnes

      Didn’t realize it was against the law to take your kin in the house. Police Suck

  • TrollMajesty

    “Militarization of the police” is a hyperbole that gets thrown around quite a bit. Let’s shake the straw men out of our arguments. Military hardware isn’t the issue at hand, it’s the actions of the individuals behind it. If the Sheriff’s Office had an old up-armored bank truck would it be the “Corporate Financization” of the police? When I was in Iraq, I had to have armored plates welded onto a transport truck to patrol in. Would that be the “Cargoization of the Military?” Yes, dressing some policemen up like soldiers makes them act aggressively, but let’s judge each case by its merits.

    There’s some common misconceptions in this comment thread I’d like to dispel. First off, the MRAP’s actual cost was a dollar, assuming they acquired it through DRMO. I know there’s upkeep on it, and fuel but it’s not a daily driver (I hope). Second, the tactics and posture the SWAT team utilized was anything but military. If that was a true military operation (in the sense that the term ‘militarization’ invokes) the house would have been 1) bypassed because it’s not a threat or 2) a hole in the ground.

    So were the actions of the LCSO appropriate? No one can say unless you watched it unfold. Did they escalate appropriately and inform the individual inside the house that they just wanted a quick word to determine if everything was ok? Did the deputies act aggressively and scare the individual into his home? Or was the individual near a mental break and some other kind of crisis was defused? I don’t know and neither do any of you- unless you were there from beginning to end and have a crystal ball.

    • Bill

      Finally, a common sense post as opposed to all the arm chair quarterbacks that feel the need to second guess the police at every turn and don’t have an inkling of proper procedures in regards to the police. All they want to do is come home to their families every night and if they over react to a situation so be it. I want them home to their families also.

  • golfingirl

    So why is the man’s name not even mentioned in the story?

    We know his brother’s name, his mother’s name…….but his name is nowhere to be found.

    Just curious.

  • Jim Parnes

    Police are Trigger happy A-Holes

  • J.M.

    John Whitehead, the president of The Rutherford Institute, recently wrote a
    trenchant summary of the DHS. He began by saying, “If the United States is a
    police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national
    police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role
    implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times
    appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to
    building what the Founders feared most–a standing army on American soil.”

    Whitehead observes that the DHS employs over 240,000 full time workers and
    has an annual budget of $61 billion. Sub-agencies of the DHS include the Coast
    Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security
    Administration (TSA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • Fed Up

    No crime was committed so why are the police bothering this guy in the first place. So he doesn’t want to talk to the jack-booted thugs in black uniforms – big deal, leave him alone.

  • Summer Smart

    I’m surprised the fire departments didn’t get involved, ie: carlisle township, wellington, etc. isn’t that what they do? sit and wait for something to happen, when they can do nothing. All on the back of the taxpayers. As I said on another post “certified ambulance chasers.” It was their day to play “hero.” Or were they all in hiding licking their wounds from the first debacle.

    • Summer Smart

      oh wait, it says wellington was there…they must have been on their way home and took a detour.

  • Lucy Clark

    The police should have never made a huge deal this sounds ridiculous a man is yelling at someone from his own yard and another neighbor calls the cops the man goes inside and the cops seriously couldn’t have had maybe two units knock on neighbors doors to see what the initial argument was about talk to both neighbors? Instead they wanted to waste tax payers money and have all these police there and make a huge deal. The guy didn’t do anything wrong he wasn’t waving a weapon or threatening anybody and obviously the cops didn’t think he was going to harm the baby or they would have went in way sooner. The cop who made the call to make this into a circus should be put on suspension and maybe be touchy what to do in different situations.