Music teacher goes 'hammer' time

HURON Richard Rice taught music and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a music degree. But
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

HURON

Richard Rice taught music and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a music degree. But on Thursday evening he'd heard enough of a rock band performing at a birthday party in his neighborhood.

The 64-year-old Huron man, armed with a claw hammer, walked over to the home of a neighbor playing host to the band and tossed the group's microphone to the ground before storming back to his home in the 1100 block of By the Shore.

Rice faces charges of aggravated menacing and criminal damaging.

"The band was out of tune and loud,"Rice said. He aggressively swung a claw hammer when he went to his neighbor's home in the 400 block of Newport Drive at about 8 p.m., according to a Huron police report.

The band performed for a crowd of about 30 middleschool-aged children who gathered at a home in the 400 block of Newport Drive.

The party host said the band consisted of two teenagers playing a 45 minute set.

Witnesses told police Rice damaged the band's equipment and ordered the band to stop playing. He also swung the hammer at a party-goer, they told police.

Rice made two noise complaints to police about the band before taking matters into his own hands.

"The house is located on the lake," Rice said. "They should have pointed the speakers so the sound was sent to Canada."

Rice, who appeared to be intoxicated, told police he had three drinks of Drambuie before he went over to the neighbor's home.

Rice said he did not swing the hammer.

He'd been working at his home and said the hammer was in his hand when he went to the neighbor's home.

"I had a hammer in my hand," he said. "I didn't swing it."

A resident of the neighborhood for 33 years, Rice said the community is typically peaceful.

Rice appeared in Huron Municipal Court on Friday.

He was granted a continuance after informing the court he planned to retain an attorney.

Rice is scheduled to appear back in court on Aug. 19.