Thursday, September 20, 2007



At first we thought this story began this morning around 10 a.m. when people spotted a man swinging a tire iron at a parked car on North Abbe Road in Elyria. Jennifer Lawrence and other witnesses said that at first they thought that the car belonged to the man because he was doing it in front of people in broad daylight. “I didn’t know what he was doing, I heard the noises and then I saw him going from the trunk area of the car to the passenger side door striking the window with something.” Lawrence said that once the car alarm sounded the man tried to stop it by popping the hood but couldn’t; he then fled the area on foot.

Neighbors described the man to Police who quickly identified him as 23 year old Drew Mans of Villanova Circle, right around the corner. Police believed that a 9mm hand gun and ammunition were taken by Mans from the vehicle. Officers quickly surrounded the home at the corner of Antioch and Villanova Circle and made attempts to contact Mans by phone. While making these calls Mans called the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and advised them that he was in fact at Elyria Memorial Hospital on the 5th Floor and was willing to turn himself in. The Sergeant at the scene on Villanova requested that other Officers be sent to EMH to look for Mans and that he and the other Officers on Villanova would hold the perimeter that they had set up just in case it was an attempt by Mans to get the Officers to leave. A search by Officers, Deputies and EMH Security found that Mans was not on EMH property.
Mans was spotted a short time later by one of the Officers stationed outside of the house. Contact was made with Mans by Officers at the scene who spoke to him until one of the Departments Negotiators arrived and took over.

Family members that arrived on scene spoke with the media explaining Mans medical condition. Mans sister, Temeka Guzman, said that her brother was born with frontal lobe damage and other problems. “Drew was born with frontal lobe damage, he has half a ear, he has a lot of nerve damage on the side of his face. With the frontal lobe damage that controls your thinking ability, you don’t rationalize the things you do, you kinda act on impulse. He had been a troubled child for many years but he is not violent, he has never hurt anybody. He has never hurt anything or anybody but himself.” Guzman said that although she had not had a chance to speak with her brother during the stand off she would tell him that she and her family love him and care about him.

Guzman said that Mans was being held in a lock down facility, Community Based Correctional Facility CBCF, on Murray Ridge Road next door to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department. Last night there was a fire at the facility and during the commotion Mans was able to walk away and steal a car.

Neighbors in the area gathered around the corner to watch the action, many were part of a large block watch organization that they have formed. Block Watch Captain Debbie Neri said that within the last year there have been over 200 break-ins in their area. “These are break-ins during the night, during the daytime, afternoon, whenever. You come by here at night and look in our back yards, you will see all of the security lights lighting up our yards.” Neri said that the Block Watch was formed in their neighborhood because of all the crime that has been occurring. Neri said they felt it was time to “take the neighborhood back.” Counting from January 1 to the beginning of April Neri said she has a list of 80 break-ins and as she says, it just continues. “Our kids are not even coming home from school on any latch key type programs; we are keeping them at school until we can pick them up. It’s scary, enough is enough.”

Robbie Smith lives across the street from Mans and saw the Police when they first got there this morning. “I saw the Police when I was going over to school but then when I came back home now they have the roads blocked and all the media is here.” Smith said that although he personally has not been the victim of a break in or theft a friend of his visiting his house has. “I had a party a couple months ago and a friend of mine had his I Pod and money taken from his car parked in my driveway.”

Lieutenant Andy Eichenlaub said that Mans barricaded himself in the house alone and claimed to have had a gun. Lt. Eichenlaub said that the Negotiator spent several hours on the phone with Mans in an attempt to have him walk out and give himself up. “Our Officer is trained in Crisis Intervention and Hostage Negotiation and decelerated the crisis in the subjects mind, advised him that the best thing for him to do would be to seek the medical attention that he needed. Over the couple of hours that they spoke she convinced him of that and he came out to seek that help.”



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