Erie County residents rang in the New Year as they always do — parties, drinks and jubilation all around. But rather than watching the ball drop at midnight, some residents were instead watching their jail-cell doors clink shut.
Erie County Chief deputy Jared Oliver said instances of crime and mayhem on New Year’s Eve 2014 were about average compared with previous years. Even so, local law enforcement officials had their hands full with a number of drunken drivers, bar fights and inebriated party-goers.
Officers were called to multiple area bars late Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning.
Erie County deputies responded to Kalahari Resorts at least three times that evening. In one instance, a deputy was driving by just as a guest punched another drunken guest outside.
Later, a deputy spotted a security officer wrestling with a guest on the ground and promptly arrested Mark Goch, 23, of Akron, for persistent disorderly conduct intoxicated. After a “play-fight” between Goch and his father got out of hand, Goch allegedly fought against security officers and repeatedly kicked a deputy’s cruiser window.
At about 2 a.m., Sandusky police arrested a Huron man for causing a stir at Daly’s Pub.
Jeremy Braucher, 27, was charged with two counts disorderly conduct, assault and resisting arrest for threatening to retrieve a gun from his car after bouncers kicked him out, according to a police report.
Drunken drivers were also a primary concern for police on New Year’s, but Perkins police, Sandusky police and Erie County deputies nabbed only a handful combined.
Most notable was a crash on U.S. 6 near Sheldon Marsh, Oliver said. Jacob Hinkle, 19, of Sandusky, struck a telephone pole while driving drunk, then fled the car — leaving behind his injured 17-year-old brother.
Deputies used a police dog to track the man down behind the Huron Eagles Club, where he was hiding in the bushes, Oliver said.
Later, while being treated for injuries from the crash, Hinkle’s brother fled Firelands Regional Medical Center, with IV tubes still in his arms, according to a police report.
Hinkle was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, underage consumption, leaving an accident scene and failure to maintain assured clear distance.
“New Year’s Eve got a little busy, but it was probably pretty similar to years past,” Oliver said.
About a half dozen people in total were booked into the Erie County jail.