HC Sheriff: Saunders mistakenly arrested

FULL STORY An apparent clerical error led Huron County Sheriff's deputies to mistakenly arrest a former BGSU Firelands professor and haul him off to jail.
Heather Chapin-Fowler
Nov 15, 2010

FULL STORY An apparent clerical error led Huron County Sheriff’s deputies to mistakenly arrest a former BGSU Firelands professor and haul him off to jail.

 

A sheriff’s dispatcher recorded a court summons as an arrest warrant, which prompted the two deputies on Sunday afternoon to arrest Patrick Saunders, 62, at his Laylin Road home in Norwalk, Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard said.

“We’re looking at an internal investigation,” Howard said. “There will likely be some disciplinary action.” 

The dispatcher was a fill-in for another dispatcher who was on vacation, Howard said, adding that a preliminary review indicates the two deputies did nothing wrong, since they were acting on instructions. 

John Allton, Saunders’ attorney, said Howard called him after the arrest and offered his apologies.

“I was told the mistake was due to a clerical error internal to the sheriff’s department,” Allton said.

A Huron County grand jury last week secretly indicted Saunders on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling of a firearm. The charges stem from an October incident where a Huron County deputy found a handgun in a saddlebag on Saunders’ motorcycle.

When the indictment paperwork went from court to the sheriff’s office, no one noted that Saunders was to receive a summons to appear in court, rather than being arrested.

The two deputies showed up at Saunders’ house and — according to Allton — barged into his home, past his wife, arrested him and hauled him off to the Huron County jail.

For his part, Saunders “calmly” went through the booking process, Allton said.

“It ruined Pat’s day and it ruined my day,” Allton said. “I was furious. I went out for a walk and came back even more furious. When something happens, I chew on it until I figure it out.

“I was really chewing on that one,” Allton said. “I just didn’t understand it.”

Allton said Saunders kept cool during the arrest.

“He just let them do their thing,” Allton said. “With all the media coverage, people think (Saunders) is the devil. He’s not. He’s just a character.”

Allton said he started making some phone calls Sunday after the arrest, but Saunders soon walked through his front door.

“I thought I was seeing a ghost,” Allton said. “I said ‘How did you get out?’”

Saunders told Allton he asked to see the arrest warrant when he arrived at jail. The paperwork didn’t authorize his arrest — rather, it was a summons to appear in court.

Jail employees quickly saw the mistake and released Saunders, Allton said.

The deputies who arrested Saunders never actually received paperwork — they were verbally ordered to make the arrest, he said.

Howard said he’s still reviewing the incident, but the mistake appears to be the dispatcher’s.
The Sandusky County prosecutor’s office has been assigned special prosecutor in the Huron County case.

Saunders had two run-ins with deputies last month. Erie County deputies charged him with carrying a concealed weapon and aggravated menacing after he allegedly used a knife to threaten a co-worker at BGSU Firelands.

On Oct. 22 he pleaded no contest in the Erie County case and received a reduced charge of inducing panic. He was sentenced to a 180-day jail term, but it was suspended on condition he abide by the law for two years.

Comments

Professor Playdoh
This is just one more reason why the Ohio concealed carry law is a joke.. I can ride with a loaded handgun in a holster on my side as long as it’s “hidden” by a shirt or jacket.. If you store it on your bike in a pouch or container without a lock your breaking the law.. Buy a Bagger….
BRIARS BYWATER

Well, Professor Playdoh....

 

You are WRONG about everything you just said!  First of all the concealed carry law is not a joke.  It's been our right for over 200 years to bear arms.  Open carry has always been legal in Ohio.  Nobody wanted to deal with the courts over it.  Concealed carry permit allows the armed citizen to protect himself against serious physical harm or death.  Be greatful, not hateful.

 

 I can ride with a loaded handgun in a holster on my side as long as it’s “hidden” by a shirt or jacket.

You can if you have a concealed weapon permit.

 

 If you store it on your bike in a pouch or container without a lock your breaking the law.

Wrong again Professor....

Motor Vehicle Carry:

• In a holster secured on your person, or
• In a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and has a closing mechanism such as a zipper, snap or buckle, or
• Securely encased by being stored in a closed, glove compartment or vehicle console, or
• Locked in a case.
 

You are not breaking the law if you store it on your bike in a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and has a closing mechanism such as a zipper, snap or buckle.  I wouldn't store this way, but it's not illegal to do it.  Until they make a notation in the law regarding motorcycle transportation of a concealed firearm, this is legal.

The bike Mr. Saunders rides, has hardbags.  His pistol was stored in a locked case(saddlebag).

His mistake was illegally transporting a loaded concealed firearm in a motor vehicle, without the concealed weapon permit.

iamrevolutionary

 Seems to be happening with regularity at the HCSO...."Accidental" arrests I mean....

Professor Playdoh

Well.. I have my concealed carry permit and carry everyday... While driving If I decide to place my loaded weapon in the center compartment that doesn't have a lock I'm in violation.

 

2923.16 Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.

The handgun is securely encased by being stored in a closed glove compartment or vehicle console or in a case that is locked..

LEOs think that statement means it has to be able to lock..

And yes it is a joke.. You can't drive down a street anywhere in any town without breaking the law regarding distance to schools. You broke the law by just driving by.

BRIARS BYWATER

Professor,

 

Leo's are lawyers now?  Salvatore has the correct language 2923.16(b). 

 (b) The loaded handgun is in a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and that has a lid, a cover, or a closing mechanism with a zipper, snap, or buckle, which lid, cover, or closing mechanism must be opened for a person to gain access to the handgun. 

It DOES NOT have to be locked Professor.  It just has to be zipped, snapped, or buckled, in plain site, within the motor vehicle.

• In a holster secured on your person, or
• In a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and has a closing mechanism such as a zipper, snap or buckle, or
• Securely encased by being stored in a closed, glove compartment or vehicle console, or
• Locked in a case.
 

You are not in violation for storing your gun on the center console while driving.   As long as the weapon is in plain view, in a bag, with a zipper, buckle, or snap?  The weapon can be in a zippered pistol bag, and lay on your dash if you'd like?   This is how I transport it.  No one even knows what it is.  Then I stow it in a locked compartment in my vehicle, if I can't carry it into the bank, or other place it's prohibited.  Once you exit your vehicle and leave the weapon, I would advise a locking glove compartment, or trunk.   All the requirements have been met.  Your just confused on the reading of it maybe?  The difference between us and Mr. Saunders is that we have an obligation to inform LE because we are permit holders.  Mr. Saunders was not, and is not a permit holder.  

Just remember, in a holster on you, or in a bag, box, or compartment with a lid that zips, snaps, or buckles, in plain site.  It's pretty easy? 

If your concerned about vehicle carry, call your CCW instructor and get it figured out.  If he's telling you, what your telling us, call another instructor, because he's wrong! 

Since Mr. Saunders does not have a carry concealed weapons permit; his pistol must be unloaded.  The gun must be stored the same as 2923.16(b).  In plain site, in a box, bag, or other container with a lid, that can be zippered, buckled, or snapped.  The dangerous ordinance(bullets, loaded magazine) must be stored separate from the firearm, and excessible only by exiting the vehicle.  Which basically means, he can't store the firearm and bullets together, where he has access to both of them from the driver's seat, while in a motor vehicle.

Salvatore

2923.16 Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle   

(E) No person who has been issued a license or temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun under section 2923.125 or 2923.1213 of the Revised Code shall do any of the following:

(1) Knowingly transport or have a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle unless one of the following applies:

(b) The loaded handgun is in a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and that has a lid, a cover, or a closing mechanism with a zipper, snap, or buckle, which lid, cover, or closing mechanism must be opened for a person to gain access to the handgun.  On the motorcycle, the saddlebags apply here. I smell a lawsuit for false arrest.

BRIARS BYWATER

Nah, Salvatore.  He's looking at a felony he said.  I talked to him over the weekend.  Hopefully he can get them reduced to a lesser charge.  He's not a bad guy, just made a mistake.  Said he threw it in the saddlebag to go shoot at his son's later in the day.  Said he didn't give a thought about it being loaded when he stored it.  I see you got the correct version as well, (b)

Salvatore

Mr. Saunders was not, and is not a permit holder? My mistake. Sometimes newspapers don't tell all of the facts and the comments about the concealed carry law led me to believe that Saunders had a license to carry. Sorry.

Taxpayer

"There will LIKELY be some disciplinary action"  You THINK Sheriff Howard?!!  I do not care what this Saunders person did, if this nut was taken out of his home, detained, seized by the state and taken into custody UNLAWFULLY, the residents of Huron County are going to PAY.  And rightfully so.  You ALWAYS check out the paperwork before you go to someone's HOME, make entry and forcibly remove someone under arrest and put in JAIL.  Hey Sheriff Howard, you can make all the excuses or BLAME a "fill-in" dispatcher all you want.  NO one checked this paperwork or FAILED to even read it.  A warrant for arrest is nebulously different than a summons to appear.  YOUR personnel are supposed to know the difference.  You know, like liberal democracks passing a health care bill they NEVER even read?  Oops!  This has NOTHING to do with his previous arrest.  In fact a few of you liberals may want to READ the U.S. Constitution of the United States.  I know progressive liberals want to CHANGE the Constitution, but you might want to check out when the 4TH AMENDMENT applies.  He might be found guilty by a jury of his peers for his other charges, but he will be a RICH man unless deal is made.  Mr. Saunders now holds ALL the cards.  TYPICAL liberal democrack party incompetence in Huron County.  And here is another tip for you liberals in Huron County.  YOU will NOT determine how much compensation he will receive for the violation of his civil rights.  It will be determined in FEDERAL district court.  So how is that unemployment and the economy in Huron County?  How is all that "hope and change" feel?  It will be wonderful for one person.  Ha! Ha!   

PaulYall

Hey Taxpayer... Wouldn't it be funny if the Arresting officers were Republicans?? Just sayin!    :)

LCP88

 

Why not name the dispatcher?

If you name the deputies, why not name the dispatcher? I read that the dispatcher made the mistake,

so name the person responsible for the mistake, not just the officers who were sent to the home.

Yes, taxpayer, we all will pay for the mistakes made in this case.  I am sure there will be the usuall

smoke and mirrors from Sheriff Howard.   We need to see the complete story after the investigation,

bet we won't see any more to the story.

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