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Man charged for brutally beating woman

Emil Whitis • Jul 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM

A drunken Hilliard man punched his fiancee at least 10 times in the face and tried to push her out of a boat Sunday after she talked to another man on Kelleys Island, an Erie County deputy’s report said. 

Paul Wedemeyer, 47, was charged with domestic violence, felony assault, aggravated menacing, operating a vehicle under the influence, failure to stay in marked lanes, failure to transfer plates and expired plates.

The melee began Sunday afternoon on Kelleys Island when an “older man” sat down at a table with Wedemeyer and his fiancee, Francine Kriesel, 42, both of whom were drinking, the report said.   

Wedemeyer got angry and started yelling at Kriesel when the man was talking to her, the report said “Francine advised that Paul grabbed her by her arm and began to drag her to ... their boat,” the deputy’s report said. “Francine advised that once they were down at the boat Paul told her that if she got into the boat with him ‘nobody would ever find her.’”

Wedemeyer then shoved Kriesel into the boat, causing her to land hard on her shoulder, the report said.

Once the boat left harbor, Wedemeyer threw Kriesel’s wallet and cell phone overboard. He then repeatedly punched her in the face and, at some point, he busted a mirror over her head, the report said.  

“Throughout the boat ride Paul continued to strike her in the face and attempted to push her out of the boat,” the report said. “(He made) comments that it ‘did not matter what she looked like because her body would not be found.’”

Once they docked the boat, Wedemeyer dragged Kriesel to his pickup, where he pushed her in and drove off east on Ohio 2, the report said. 

“Francine stated the assault continued as they were traveling,” the report said. “(Wedemeyer) continually tried to open her car door to throw her out.”

At about 6:30 p.m., Huron police received several calls about pickup swerving on Ohio 2. When officers pulled over the truck at Ohio 2 and Ohio 13, they immediately smelled alcohol.

More suspicious were the blood stains on the passenger’s clothes and the fact that the woman, Kriesel, wouldn’t look at officers, a Huron police report said. 

“I asked Ms. Kriesel if she could look at me,” the Huron police report said. “When she turned toward me I saw her face was bloodied and her eyes were swollen.”

In fact, Kriesel’s right eye was almost completely swollen shut, while the rest of her face was “severely” swollen, the report said.

Wedemeyer told police that Kriesel fell off a boat and hit her face, according to the report. Officers placed him in the back of a cruiser.

With her fiancee out of earshot, Kriesel told police what happened.

“Ms. Kriesel advised Mr. Wedemeyer had been beating her since they were at Kelleys Island,” the police report said.

As paramedics rushed Kriesel to the emergency room Wedemeyer was in the process of failing sobriety tests. His blood-alcohol content eventually registered a 0.139 percent, the report said.  

Late Monday he was in the Erie County jail on $100,000 bond.

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