Farmer faces cruelty, assault charges

A Sandusky County man was arrested Tuesday after nearly slamming his SUV into authorities investigating complaints about animal cruelty at his farm, county officials said.
Jessica Cuffman
Oct 10, 2013


Thomas Linke, 73, of Woodville Township, was charged with assault on a police officer and obstructing official business. He’s also facing 15 additional charges of animal cruelty, Sandusky County humane officer Kelly Askins said.

Askins said she received numerous complaints about a dead goat at Linke’s farm, in the 1900 block of W. Main St., so she went there Monday to investigate. She arrived to find several animal carcasses and hundreds of animal bones in living areas housing a sheep, dozens of goats and two cattle.

“It creates unsanitary conditions for the other animals,” Askins said. “They were actually feeding the cows on top of one of the carcasses.”

Askins said she told Linke she was returning to the farm Tuesday, but Linke said he didn’t have time to meet her. With warrant in hand, Askins returned to the property Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent to help process evidence.

“We got there and we got started,” Askins said. “Then his grandson showed up.”

Linke, who lives at a home in the 4600 block of County Road 16, decided to meet her after all.

“He came flying in right off of Route 20,” Askins said.

Linke drove his GMC Suburban head-on into a car attached to a horse trailer, Askins said.

The BCI agent managed to dodge the SUV by ducking behind a vehicle. In the end, Linke’s wife was the only one injured. She suffered minor injuries, Askins said.

While Sandusky County deputies arrested Linke, Askins continued her investigation, finding five carcasses in various states of decomposition and hundreds of bones littering the property. The animals’ water sources were filthy and contaminated with tires, and all the goats were underweight, Askins said.

The animals are now being fostered at volunteer farms.

“There’s going to be a lot of expense as far as vet care,” she said. “We are not well equipped to handle large animals.”

The Sandusky County Humane Society accepts financial donations to cover medical expenses, as well as material donations such as hay.

Linke appeared in Sandusky County’s Woodville Court Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to the assault and obstruction charges. He’ll be served the animal cruelty charges later, Askins said


doggie mom

Why do you bother having any animal if you are not willing to treat it humanely? Even if you are going to slaughter and eat these animals they deserve to be treated with respect. I hope you rot, of course with as lax as the laws in Ohio are you will probably get probation.

Simple Enough II

Wonder if he will receive the same treatment when he ends up unable to tajmke care of himself?


What a creep. At 15 counts of animal cruelty, if convicted he could be fined $15,000. Want to bet he won't? Even with our weak animal cruelty laws Judges still give the minimum sentence. I say lock the creep up and throw away the key for a few years.


I despise idiots like this, they are a waste of natural resources.


He is lacking Empathy, therefore he deserves no mercy or leniency. Throw the book at him, How sick is it to feed an animal on the carcass of another animal. Cruelty to animals is a character flaw in people that also mistreat children and other vulnerable people.