Police: No walking

Out of control police out of bounds, again, Island business owner says
Alex Green
Jul 29, 2014



Recent allegations against the Put-in-Bay police department have done nothing to quell officers' abuse of power, according to at least one island businessman.

Tim Niese, former Sandusky police officer for 18 years and owner of several popular island businesses, said Put-in-Bay police officers stopped two of his employees around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, allegedly for no reason.

He said officers stopped one of his employees, an African-American man, as the man walked from T & J's Steakhouse, which Niese co-owns with his son, to the man's house: a distance of about 75-feet.

This area is a private driveway and parking lot, Niese said.

Still, officers demanded the man to get to his house immediately after he finished a 16-hour shift, Niese said.

"You don't tell him to get back in his house," Niese said. "They have no business telling him that."

The man has been working at the restaurant for more than 10 years and is well-known on the island, Niese said.

He also said the officers had no right to be on the property since business employees never called police for help at any point that night.

Amid the island's ever-popular Christmas in July, at least a few officers were apparently behind Niese's business as large crowds made their way down Delaware Avenue once bars shut down.

"These officers were behind the businesses when all all the activity is in the front," Niese said.

He said another one of his employees was stopped promptly after he finished a 12-hour shift around 3 a.m. — for riding a skateboard behind the business.

Officers told the man to pick up his board and walk, Niese said.

Niese said he does not know why this happened.

"When they (go) after employees of mine, we're going to make sure the public knows about it," Niese said. "It's ridiculous."

Although Niese did not speculate as to why his employees were allegedly harassed, multiple islanders have said they've been targeted by Put-in-Bay police Chief Ric Lampela following disagreements with him.

Niese's business, the Islander Inn, recently won a court battle with the department.

The inn received two golf carts back in May after the police department impounded the carts for more than a year.

One cart was impounded after an intoxicated driver was stopped by police, attorney Andy Mayle said recently, and the other was impounded after it was stolen and left in an obscure location.

Police charged the business $25 a day for each cart, so Niese and company decided to sue instead of paying the fine. 

Ottawa County Judge Bruce Winters ruled the carts should be given back without fines, Mayle said, as he issued a permanent injunction against the department to stop this practice.

The inn is awaiting a damages hearing.

Lampela did not return phone calls Monday.

Niese also said Lampela has failed to contact him about the alleged harassment despite leaving messages with the department, urging Lampela to explain these most recent allegations.

During a recent public forum, Lampela explained to the audience that he had not been dodging media requests, but rather he had been away at a training seminar and unable to respond.



When is the Attorney General going to step in here?

Horace Mann

If the cops find someone riding a skateboard behind my business at 3:00 am, I hope they tell him to move on. This is not an impartial, balanced article.


Horrace, HE WORKED THERE!!!!




Ohio doesnt have an Attorney General, have you seen any evidence of such and office lately? I havent

MediaMan's picture


go to this link and type in this report number 14-013228


You know every "officer" on the "force" at PIB reads these stories and I just want you all to know you're nothing but a bunch of 8.00hr losers who will never be anything more than that. My 14yr old son makes more than you guys working on the weekends at county fairs!!!!!!




Dude looks like a little T-Rex in that pic !

Bottom Line

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Bottom Line, I think Alex was using the description and words that Neise was relaying to him.

I think everyone on the island is trying to figure out a pattern of who gets arrested for what. I mean you have a retired senior citizen that rolls through a stop sign and gets handcuffed in broad daylight. Then you have a hot MILF with drug paraphernalia out in front of her kid, and she gets a friendly warning.

We all need to learn these laws, that apparently only PIB has, for our own safety.

So if you are black, stay off of private property at 2:30 am. Also don't skateboard on private property at 3:00am. Definately do not get out of your car on private property. It's ok to have pot in your purse when you take a 14 year old kid to PIB.

I know it's confusing, but if you need help, attend the Town Hall meeting on Thursday.


Doesn't this treatment of the black employee fall under Hate Crimes, which is a federal offense? I mean come on, we sent troops down to the Democratically controlled Mississippi 50 years ago to stop such things. Is PNB mostly Democrats who think minorities are to be controlled?


DickTracey, I would normally completely understand where you're coming from and agree with you. But this "newspaper" does nothing to earn the benefit of the doubt. As was already mentioned a few posts below, why wasn't the race/ethnicity of the other person specified?


I'm really glad they started the weekly Town Hall meetings, to open up discussions and communications. Sounds like that is working out real well.

We have an alleged drugging Friday night, where a victim is life flighted, but no police report to go with it.

What was the training that Lampela attended, Intimidation 101?


Dick Tracey, I agree 100% with your comment. When you have people that supposed to be professionals (which they are clearly not) with that much power over the individual and public to administer justice evenly across the board to all races and statuses it is very frightening. For anyone to condone and accept this type of behavior is just ludicrous. If they want to live in a police state fine, I say move to China or Russia and enjoy. These utterly pathetic police officers ( I'm being extremely nice) go entirely against the grain of what America is about. They need to be treated with contempt and purged from our once Great American Society. At the heart of it the are in line with the extreme lefts agenda of a " police state " to which true Americans are one day gonna have to put down to restore our nation back to the constitutional values that made this country.


Sounds like they need to overthrow the police dept and elect a new mayor also. The Chief seems like a real As*hole!


Exactly right arcman033 but it is not just unique to PIBPD it's happening across America at many depts. fed, state, county, and munis. I feel sorry for the real " Peace Officers " whom try to mitigate fair justice regardless of race, religion, or creed. To those officers they deserve respect and honor. To the others see my post above.


While most people have a forehead this clown has a 5 head!!


SR, what was the race of the other employee on the skateboard? Seems like it made a difference for the first employee, not sure why it didn't matter for the second? Hmmmm.


It really does not matter unless the SR is trying to incite something.


Does Keystone sound familiar?


The pib police department should be the best of the best. Think about it- you are on an island where the majority of people are drinking: Bad decisions and accidents happen! The tourists and residents deserve better and to have officers capable of sound judgement! Come on!


The Put-in-Bay Police are creating problems that will take the island years to get out of from lawsuits to general perception of credibility. Much like a house of mirrors, the more mirrors the harder it will be for the island to get out. Hopefully national news will pick this up and force the incompetent Mayor to finally deal with this debacle.


I am glad these former police officers are speaking out. It give real credibility to what is happening at PIB. They know police work well and what is right and wrong. Keep putting the truth out there and I am confident things and people will change.

getit right be4...

When dealing with any LEO it is in your best interest to record the conversation. In Ohio there is no need to tell the LEO that you are recording. As long as someone in the conversation knows that the conversation is being recorded ( the person recording ) it is legal.


Unless a police officer has “probable cause” to make an arrest or a “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a “stop and frisk,” a person has the legal right to walk away from a police officer. However, at the time of the encounter, there is no real way to know what information the officer is relying on. In fact, an officer may have information that provides a valid legal basis to make an arrest or to conduct a stop and frisk, even if the person stopped is actually innocent of any wrongdoing. In that situation, an officer may forcibly detain an innocent person who starts to leave the scene of an interview. Common sense and self-protection suggest that people who intend to walk away from a police officer should first make sure that the officer does not intend to arrest or detain them. A good question might be, “Officer, I’m in a hurry, and I’d prefer not to talk to you right now. You won’t try to stop me from leaving, right?” If the officer replies that you are not free to leave, you should remain at the scene and leave the issue of whether the officer had the necessary legal basis to detain you for the courts to determine at a later time.


Good advice

The Big Dog's back

I gotta tell you, from reading all the articles on PIB, sounds like typical residents and business owners think they are above the law. Isn't the drugging of women tied to an employee? Maybe everyone should just turn a blind eye to these people until something major has happened. Oh, wait, something major has already happened. The "roofie" incidents.


if citizens break the law, or think that they are above the law, that doesn't mean the police should be overlooked when they break the law.

The Big Dog's back

So we should look at the police 1st when citizens break the law?


we should have some police who enforce the law. those who do not are no different than any other criminal. from what i read it's the police who are breaking the law.


Nobody has broken any law in the story above and in several of the other stories charges were thrown out as baseless


i don't know. maybe it's perfectly legal for police to harass citizens who are on private property and are not breaking any laws..


No breaking bad here. It's called "hired bad". I have met Lampella off-duty only. What a freaking tool that dude is! Must have been pretty desperate to hire him and then make him chief!?!?!?!?


That is exactly what I said on Saturday, under the last story.

Before coming to Put in Bay in 1991, Lampela had been rejected and turned down by SEVERAL departments near his home in Wiloughby. Put in Bay offered him part time, seasonal employment, he jumped at the chance. (Which is actually pathetic for someone with a masters.)

At the time Lampela had never stepped foot on the island until the day of the interview. At the end of his first summer he was offered full time employment.

Two years later he is chief, because the chief at that time retired. WOW. Is it any wonder why there are problems?

This guy could not get hired anywhere else, but Put in Bay hands him a position as chief! Not because of his many years of service and experience, or because he was qualified, but because he happened to be in the right place at the right time.

He claims his years working in a psych ward helped him prepare for this job. Hmmm, so which one of you locals are crazy?

This story makes him look like a creeper, that thinks he is a rock star. When asked about the wildside of the island, he said, "at first your stunned, then you just get into it." Awkward.

I don't feel good about a chief giving an interview for this type of story, involving hedonism, girls showing their chest for beads, guys trying to get laid, etc. I feel like he was bragging about getting to watch all the action while getting paid at the same time. Gross.



What amazes me is why the Mayor OR Police Chief would want to continue to occupy office when such a wide variety of people and residents want them gone? With over 1000 posts on the recent articles combined less than 5 were in any type of support for their antics and several of those appeared from the way they were written to be from police officers. Why would they want to continue to act this way? Is it the final act of arrogance and holier than thou power trip? It's time for the island to clean house, and fast. In short order outside investigators will be looking into this for sure.


By looking at that picture, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say he probably suffers from small man syndrome.


not all, but most who hide behind a badge do..


It's a shame that the island has turned into this! There used to be some good cops up there, the Chief and Capt USE to have that island under control! DickTracey hit it on the head, from reading your article your clearly aware of his history as well as I am!

he said she said

I don't drink and it seems to me that is all PIB is about. I was just talking to a friend of mine about going over to PIB just to walk around and see the sights. After hearing and reading about the PIB police department, I am having second thoughts. I don't want to be arrested for something stupid that they feel is against the law when on the mainland it's nothing. I think I will begin find somewhere else to spend my money.


If you do go to PIB, consider the following advice -

1. Take the first ferry over in the morning, preferably on, say, a Tuesday or Wednesday.

2. By all means be off the island before 5 PM.....

he said she said

Thanks for the advice. I just might do that and make note that I won't ever go again.


Exactly Fedup, what does Ruth and Ric know ?? I smell a rat and a conspiracy, hope I'm wrong. ruth is no judy!!


Fed up I will jump in here, you right scrapelli is for sure no Judy Berry! she tried to deal with this same type of corruption and police graft years ago. It's not as if this clown has risen to the level of arrogance and incompetence overnight, or likely these poorly trained officers developed these attitudes overnight. The culture is poisoned and weed killer is not going to fix things. the tree needs to be cut off at the root to stop the rot.


What ever happened to the lawyer who was cuffed in the hotel, was he released or charged and what was the outcome if he went to court?


I first heard it last year. A local resident saying they cannot even take their kids downtown to watch the ships or get ice cream. The drunks are toooo much. Back this year and the candy shop rents even more golf carts and the hardware store opened a bar in side....Can't they just say enough is enough !


Where is John Blatt when you him!!


John "got a boat got a vote" Blatt was expelled bahahaha

last visit

I had contact with Put in Bay police last week end. I was very disappointed in the lack of desire to understand my point of view in a situation. Needless to say you can not make an officer want to hear you or more important listen when they are on the police ego trip. I promise to never return to your island again. Never. Sometimes in life you just have to take it even if it isn't fair. I wish you all good luck, such a nice place. lastly I understand losing one visitor isn't a big deal, but I did spend $700.00 during my visit. So the island does lose a little.


Are you sure you don't want to go back for Thursday's Town Hall meeting?

You can stand up and voice your concerns about the police department and then bend over while the chief blows smoke up your arse. I'm sure it will make you feel better.

last visit

no I won't return - here is the deal - no drinking offenses or anything - just expect law enforcement to return shown respect. The details of any contact with law enforcement become complicated and a matter of perception. It is reasonable to expect to be heard before they decide the action to be taken. At 53 years of age I have certain expectations about such things. I should not be made to feel things are worse if I want to have a respectful opinion of events.


No way I would bend over anywhere near Lampela


ok, think about it. The PIB police probably know almost all of the employees and or citizens on that island, it's not that big. Seems they are targeting because they got busted for making someone pay for their own property. I'm sure they knew who both of those employees were and just wanted to hassle them. Think PIB police really need to be looked into. To much crap going on over there.


People should just go to Kelly's Island instead of PIB....then when businesses start losing money and the police have nobody to hassle, then the message might smack the PIB Police Dept, the Mayor and council upside their thick, retaliatory heads.

Dispute Lite

As for Chief Ric, he was put into that position before he even knew how to be a police officer, he has been ill prepared for that job from the beginning. He can't lead so he just lets these young officers run wild with no oversight so of course you get what there is now.

The problem with the officers, besides no leadership, is that that are all young, most right out of the academy, and with little or no experience. They don't know how to be a cop yet and they are thrown to the wolves on the island. Once they are hired for the summer, it's easier to just ride it out with them, than to get rid of them and do a mid-season hire.

Things would be better with a chief that knew how to run a department. The chief has got to go, he is just a liability if this goes on



This is worth looking at. However, you should also see the videos for remaining silent. Especially if you're not recording the incident.

I'm sure residents and businesses on PIB can afford dash cams etc. If all they say is true, it'd be easy to get the evidence they need legally and without incriminating themselves somehow. These accusers anger and a few innocent comments made in frustration is what is getting them in trouble and making it easy for the police.

Wise up people. Other wise I'm siding with the cops.


I certainly hope the register is on the island for the special meeting called to discuss public official activities.....apparently someone in power has been bad and it sounds like things are about to change or hit the fan


Are you referring to Thursday's Town Hall meeting that is already scheduled by Lampela?

Or a different meeting?


When the police are harassing the citizens more than the criminals it is time to rethink things. If i was harassed on a dark alley by a crack head there's a law against that, Being harassed by cracked headed police is perfectly acceptable though?