Saturday, December 31, 2011


UPDATE: Police have released the names of the drivers involved in this crash – 41 year old Karen Talaback of Cuyahoga Falls was the driver of the silver minivan and 33 year old Michael Cornwell was the driver of the Republic Services truck.

Talaback remains in critical condition in Cleveland.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Elyria – A collision between a minivan and a Republic Services garbage truck on Lake Ave Saturday morning sent one woman to Cleveland in critical condition.

Elyria Police are still investigating the cause of the crash but believe one of the two vehicles ran a red light. The garbage truck was traveling north on Lorain Blvd and the minivan was traveling east on Lake Ave when they collided in the intersection.

The collision was so severe that the two vehicles traveled north on Lorain Blvd before coming to rest. A wide debris field was left behind with pieces of the minivan found in a nearby parking lot.

Elyria Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics treated the woman on the scene before LifeCare transported the critically injured woman to Cleveland by ground because of weather conditions.

Several streets surrounding the crash were either blocked or down to one lane while Officers attempted to reconstruct the crash scene and take measurements for their investigation.

The truck driver refused treatment or transport. There were no passengers in either vehicle.



Lorain – A Lorain teen traveling south on Grove Ave Friday afternoon went off the left side of the road and crossed the median before slamming into a Ford Explorer that was traveling north on Grove.

Lorain Police are still investigating the crash that sent 4 people to two local hospitals. LifeCare Paramedics treated and transported two to Elyria Memorial Hospital while the remaining two to Mercy Regional Hospital in Lorain. There were no serious injuries.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Elyria – A mother and two children fled their home Monday night with only the clothes on their backs after a fire broke out in their home on Rockfern in Elyria.

Elyria Firefighters responded to 337 Rockfern just after midnight Monday for a reported house fire. When Firefighters arrived they found black smoke coming from the house and a mother and two small children standing in the front yard.

The fire itself was confined to the children’s bedroom but thick black smoke filled the entire house. The fire was brought under control quickly and caused an estimated $15,000.00 in damages.

Friends have come together to help collect clothes for the family and toys for the children. If anyone wishes to help they can drop off donations to Hazel’s Family Restaurant on Cleveland Street in Elyria.

The two boys wear 3t-5t in clothes and 10 and 12 in shoes. Mom wears small to medium tops and 3-7 on pants. Dad wears men’s shirts large to extra large and 32-33 pants.


Monday, December 26, 2011


New Russia Township – One man is dead and six people were injured Monday around 3:45 after a 2 car collision on Route 20, about 2 miles east of Route 25.

Sergeant Paul March of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said 71 year old Gary Gordon of Warrensville Heights was traveling westbound on Route 20 in a 1991 Cadillac when he went left of center striking 43 year old Jerry Moon Sr. of Wellington who was traveling eastbound in a 2004 Kia Sedona minivan. “Eye witnesses to the crash support the physical evidence that the Cadillac traveled left of center causing the crash.”

Gordon was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics of Central Lorain County Ambulance District. Moon was traveling with 5 other people in the van; all were transported to area hospitals. Moon suffered the most serious injuries in the van was taken to Cleveland while the remaining victims were taken to Elyria Memorial and Mercy Allen in Oberlin. The other five victims in the minivan, all of Wellington, were 38-year-old Shelly Moon, 16-year-old Jerry Moon Jr., 10-year-old Neal Hergina, 14-year-old Paige Hergina, and 15-year-old Madeline Ingram. Troopers say none of the 6 people in the minivan were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Jerry Moon Sr. was released from the hospital late Monday night.

Route 20 between Route 511 & Route 58 was shut down in both directions for several hours.

Oberlin Firefighters had to cut the roof and other parts from the Cadillac that Gordon was driving in order to extricate him for the Coroner.

Oberlin Firefighters and Central Lorain County Ambulance District Paramedics were first on scene to treat the victims. LifeCare Ambulance provided mutual aid with 2 additional ambulances and a Supervisor. South Amherst Firefighters covered the Oberlin Fire station in case Oberlin had another crash of fire call. Oberlin Police, Lorain County Metro Parks Rangers and the Ohio Department of Transportation assisted in securing the roadway for rescue crews and Troopers to work.

Alcohol and or drug use is unknown at this time and the accident remains under investigation.


Friday, December 23, 2011


Elyria – Elyria Police and Elyria Firefighters are currently investigating two suspected cases of arson from overnight. One truck and one car set on fire within half a block of each other.

Elyria Police were called to the area of West Ave and 4th Street around 2 a.m. for suspicious males in the area. When they arrived they spotted smoke coming from a truck parked on West Ave near Barres Lane. Officers called for Firefighters to respond but were able to extinguish that fire before they arrived.

Just after they extinguished that fire they found a Buick Regal parked behind a house at the corner of West Ave and Barres Lane with fire coming from the front seat area. Firefighters were directed by Police to the Buick when they arrived. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the car fire before it had the chance to spread to other cars parked nearby.

Police stopped and questioned several males near St. Mary’s but released them.

The owner of the truck told Officers that whoever did it rummaged through his truck before setting it on fire. The rear passenger side door to the Regal was also partly opened when Police found it on fire.

The Regal has been impounded for investigative purposes. No injuries were reported.


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Columbus – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is warning drivers: If you choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. As part of the Patrol’s mantra – Trooper Shield – and their ongoing effort to contribute to a safer Ohio, troopers have had increased focus on impaired driving enforcement in 2011.
Through December 11, troopers have arrested 1,383 more drivers for OVI than during the same period in 2010. We are seeing positive results from the hard work of our troopers on the road everyday removing impaired and dangerous drivers from the roadways, said Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent. As the Patrol’s OVI arrests increase, we are seeing a direct correlation in the decrease of overall fatalities.”
Impaired drivers were responsible for 40 percent of the fatal crashes in 2010. Through December 11 of this year, with overall fatalities down four percent, and OVI arrests up 1,383 arrests – Ohio is experiencing a decline of nearly five percent in OVI-related fatalities.

We can’t fight the battle against impaired driving on our own. We need your commitment to make our roads safe, said Colonel Born. You can contribute to a safer Ohio by actively influencing friends and family to make safe, responsible decisions - like planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, can go a long way toward ensuring tragedies do not occur.”
With the upcoming holidays, the Patrol is reminding drivers that this can be one of the most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. Last year in Ohio, 39 people died in alcohol-related crashes between Thanksgiving and New Years.
The public is encouraged to continue using 1-877-7-PATROL to report dangerous drivers, impaired drivers or stranded motorists.


Elyria – It was just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning when the quiet neighborhood in the 600 block of University Ave was rocked by an explosion.

One witness who lives on University said he heard the loud boom and jumped out of bed. He thought it might have been another crash but when he looked out of his bedroom window he said he saw a man running west on University towards a small dark red or maroon car. Behind him was a white Grand Prix on fire. The witness said the man jumped in the dark colored car and with its lights out he fled the area.

The owner of the car lives at 621 University and the car was parked about 3 houses east of 621. The owner and friends expressed to Police they believe it was an ex-boyfriend that had set the fire.

Police went to a couple locations to find the ex-boyfriend to speak with him about the fire but were unable to locate him.

The fire remains under investigation and there were no injuries reported.


Friday, December 16, 2011


Elyria – A late night crash sent two Elyria teens to the hospital after their car crashed into a building on Cleveland Street.

Police say 18 year old Tommesha Noel of Elyria was traveling east on Cleveland Street when she made a left turn onto Bellfield and drove a 2001 Ford Taurus into a building. Both Noel and her passenger were outside of the car when Police and rescuers arrived. Both were treated by LifeCare Paramedics and Elyria Firefighters before being transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital.

Noel was cited with Reasonable Control.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011


Elyria – Elyria Police announced today in a press conference that Deputy Charles Crausaz was shot not by Travis Stidham as first believed but rather by another Deputy in what’s known as friendly fire.
Police say Crausaz was hit by a round fired from an AR-15 rifle. Stidham was firing a .40 cal semi auto handgun when he exited the rear of the house and fired two shots at Crausaz. Crausaz then fired two rounds back with his shotgun. As Crausaz was about to fire a third round he was shot and immediately fell to the ground.
Police say the investigation revealed Crausaz was shot in the left side of his rib cage, below his armpit. They were able to determine that the bullet came from an AR-15 fired by Deputy Steve Fuller, the only other deputy to fire a weapon during the incident.
Lieutenant Chris Constantino of the Elyria Police Department said that although it is an unfortunate fact it doesn’t change the fact that Stidham came out of the house firing on Deputy Crausaz and he doesn’t see anything criminal coming out of this. "Nobody wants these things to happen, nobody likes these things to happen, Constantino said. But when it's dark and you have a suspect running out firing a gun, these things can happen."

Crausaz will remain on paid leave and get counseling through the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Elyria – An 18 year old girl was shot in the foot after an argument broke out in the parking lot of T&A bar on Adams Street.

Police were called to the T&A bar at 1:39 a.m. Wednesday morning for a reported female shot. When Officers arrived on scene they were told the female and friends had run across the street to a home on Adams. The victim, 18 year old Tanisha Green had already been loaded up in a friend’s vehicle and was on the way to Elyria Memorial Emergency Room where she was treated for a wound to the foot.

Police searched the area and recovered shell casings in the gravel parking lot of T&A. Witnesses told Police Green had been in a red or maroon colored Blazer or Explorer when an argument broke out. Two females exited the SUV and then a male exited shortly after and began shooting.

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Elyria – A late night fire in a vacant home on Weller Road, off Bell Ave, in Elyria is believed to have started after a squirrel ate through wiring in the attic of the home.

When Firefighters arrived they found a moderate amount of smoke coming from the house and flames could be seen inside through the front windows. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within a half hour.

No injuries were reported.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Elyria – The new Ramada hotel by the Midway Mall in Elyria had to evacuate their guests Monday night after a fire broke out in the rear of the building around 7 p.m.

Elyria Firefighters extinguished the fire quickly but remained on scene to ventilate the building and to make sure the fire hadn’t spread through the walls.

Guests from the main tower were able to return within an hour and the remaining guests were able to go back in shortly after.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Elyria Fire Department.

No injuries were reported.




LaGrange Township – A Lorain County Deputy Sheriff is listed in fair condition after being shot Monday night in LaGrange.  
Deputies responded to 375 Stable Drive in Pheasant Run Village after the mother of 42 year old Travis Stidham reportedly shot the family dog and cat claiming they were black and evil. Stidham then shot the television. Stidham’s mother was in Tennessee but was on the phone with her son when the shootings occurred. Deputies surrounded the home and attempted to talk Stidham into coming out of the house. Around 8:30 Stidham opened fire on the Deputies striking Deputy Charles Crausaz a 15 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office in the left armpit. Stidham, who was not hit, ran from the scene.  

Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti said the 39 year old Deputy was wearing his bullet proof vest but he was hit in an unprotected area.
LaGrange Township Fire & Rescue responded to the scene and treated Crausaz before moving him to a field so he could be airlifted to a Cleveland hospital. It was reported that the Crausaz was talking with the medical teams and is expected to be ok. MetroHealth had him listed in fair condition late Monday night.
While the Crausaz was being treated Officers from around Lorain County and Medina County swarmed the area to search for Stidham who fled after he shot the Deputy. 
The massive search included Law Enforcement from Elyria, Lorain, North Ridgeville, Avon, Avon Lake, State Patrol, Amherst, Lorain County Metro Parks Rangers, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Lodi, Spencer and others.
The Lorain County SWAT Team had met and was getting ready when a Cleveland Police helicopter spotted a man running in a field. The subject was reportedly heading towards Route 301 near Webster Road. The SWAT Team and other Officers began to respond to the area as the helicopter kept a close eye on him. As SWAT and the other Officers were getting close to the area the man turned the gun on himself – taking his own life.
SWAT members entered the field just south of Webster and just north of 19070 Route 301. With the spotlight of the helicopter guiding them they carefully approached the suspect and found Stidham dead in the field. 


Monday, December 12, 2011


Elyria – A shooting that occurred early Sunday morning on Blaine Street ended with Elyria Police arresting 18 year old Jordan Wallace of Elyria with Discharging a Firearm at a Prohibited Area, Felonious Assault and Aggravated Menacing.

Elyria Police responded to the area of Blaine & Lincoln Street around 3 a.m. after receiving reports of shots fired in the area. Additional callers stated a man was firing from the roof of 315 Blaine Street.

Officers arrived and surrounded the home while Police Dispatchers spoke with the residents on the phone. The people in the house were ordered to exit the home with their hands in the air. About 5 minutes later 2 males and one female exited the front door. Officers had the two males get to the ground – they were searched and handcuffed.

While speaking with Officers Wallace gave them several different accounts of what happened. Wallace stated that a drug dealer named Brian (Foster) had accused him of stealing money and pills from him earlier. He and Foster were involved in an altercation and Foster left and said that he would return to get his money. Wallace advised that Brian arrived with several of his friends and he saw through the second floor window that Brian had a 9mm black pistol. Wallace stated that Brian started to yell and threatened to smash the windows out of Joshua’s car window that was parked in the driveway of the residence. Brian then ran towards the front of his residence. (Two Story Duplex, residence is on second floor)

Wallace advised that he went into Joshua’s bedroom and grabbed his .22 rifle and loaded a magazine into it. Wallace then went to the top of the tall staircase that leads down to the front door and observed the door be kicked open. Wallace stated that Brian was standing in the doorway and had the 9mm pointed up at him. Wallace advised that he fired 1 round intentionally low not to kill Brian and Brian fled on foot around the house and down the street. Officer Moss observed the front door of the residence to have a bullet hole approx 1 foot from the bottom of the door and in the middle of the door. Officer Moss asked how he fired through the door if it were open.

Wallace then stated that Brian kicked the door open then pulled it closed to leave only a crack then reached his arm through the crack and aimed the 9mm gun up the stairs at him from behind the door. Wallace added that he knew the law and he was in fear for his life and was protecting himself in his own home against a man that came in with a gun. Wallace advised that after Brian ran away he unloaded the gun and put it back away in the closet. He then had his girlfriend call the police to report the incident.

Officers then spoke with Brian Foster (Victim) who advised that earlier in the night he was at 315 Blaine St. visiting Jordan Wallace and some other friends. Foster advised that he fell asleep at the residence and once he woke up, he noticed that he was missing approximately $150.00 cash from his pants pocket. Foster left the residence after a brief altercation with Wallace about the missing money. Foster then contacted his friends, David Partin and Frank Olivas about the missing money. Foster advised that Partin is also friends with Wallace and requested that Partin and Olivas go to 315 Blaine St. in an attempt to retrieve the missing money.

Foster advised that approximately 5 minutes later he arrived in the area of Lincoln St. and Riverside Dr. and exited the vehicle he was in. Upon exiting the vehicle, Foster advised that Wallace began shooting at him from a rear roof area of 315 Blaine St. Foster advised of approximately 4-6 shots and stated that he became highly upset at getting shot at by Wallace. Foster advised that he then went to the front porch area of 315 Blaine St. and began to knock on the front door of Wallace’s apartment. It was at this time Foster advised that someone fired 1-2 rounds at the front door. Foster advised that he then ran from the area with his friends and contacted the police about the incident. Foster advised that he was not injured in this incident.

Officer Lesner located in the residence a black Savage 22 caliber left only rifle inside the closet of the female resident. The rifle was unloaded with no magazine in the weapon. The female then showed Officer Lesner the magazine to the rifle was located in her wooden night stand. The magazine was black and contained 10 rounds of 22 caliber bullets. Officer Lesner then located a pill bottle of (9) nine 22 caliber bullets in Mr. Wallace’s dresser drawer. Officer Lesner took all items and placed them into evidence.

About two hours later at the Police Station and after the other two people in the Blaine Street home during the incident told Officers that Wallace had crawled out onto the back roof and hot the rifle Officer Moss interviewed Jordon Wallace. Officer Moss read Wallace his Miranda Warning and he signed the card stating that he wished to speak with officers.

Wallace gave the same statement that he did initially on scene and stated that he only fired the weapon one time down the stairs. After he told his story, Officer Moss advised him of the shell casings located on the roof. Wallace paused then stated that he had went target shooting a few days earlier and had the spent shell casing from target shooting in his car. He advised that about one hour before the incident he cleaned his car out and decided to throw the shell casings on the roof.
Officer Moss then advised Wallace of the witness statements regarding Wallace shooting at Brian form the roof.

Wallace denied any rounds were fired from the roof, then changed his story and advised that Josh was shooting from the roof and he took the gun from Josh and did not get the gun from the room and load it like he earlier stated. Wallace then stated that he will lie and admit to everything to keep Josh out of trouble and the interview was ended as Wallace stated that he was confused about what actually happened and could not remember at that point.



Avon Lake – On Thursday, December 8th at 11:52am the Avon Lake Police Department received a call of a possible carjacking at the Speedway Gas Station on Walker Road and State Route 83.

The caller reported a male had approached a woman after she has finished pumping gas and grabbed her from her vehicle and then got into her car in an attempt to take it. The female screamed for help and some other patrons came to her aid and grabbed the male and pulled him from the car. The patrons and some construction workers who were working on the parking lot at Speedway then held the male on the ground until officers arrived.

Avon Lake Police Officer’s arrived and placed the male into custody without further incident. The male was identified as Bryan Schiffbauer, 23 year old male from Euclid. He was charged with Robbery and assault. He is currently being held without bond at the Lorain County Jail.

The female victim, a 48 year old Avon Lake resident reported that she had observed Schiffbauer walking back and forth while she was pumping gas. She advised Officers that when she finished pumping gas and was getting into her vehicle, Schiffbauer approached her and held her car door opened and pointed something at her from inside his coat making her believe he had a weapon. She got out of the car and Schiffbauer got in the car and she yelled for help.

The two patrons, Ronald Cherni and Brian Williams came to her aid and pulled Schiffbauer from the vehicle and held him on the ground with the assistance of some construction workers that were also at Speedway until officers arrived.

No one reported any injuries as a result of the incident and there was no weapon located on Schiffbauer.

Friday, December 02, 2011


Elyria – Before the sun rose Friday morning a dozen police cars pulled up in front of a home on the south side of Lorain. It was not a drug bust or a raid – Officers from Lorain and Elyria, Deputies from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office assisted Troopers from the State Patrol in picking up and escorting Trooper AJ Torres to his last day of work. After 26 years, the last 20 assigned to the Elyria Post, Trooper Torres is hanging up his Stetson.

Torres, a Lorain County native, grew up in Lorain where he attended and graduated from Lorain Admiral King High School in 1980.

In 1982 Torres joined the United States Marine Corps where he rose to the level of Squad Leader in charge of protecting the Naval Weapons Center in London.

In 1985, after receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps, Torres returned to his home in Lorain and was accepted into the State Highway Patrol Academy. Torres graduated with the 115th class of the Patrol Academy class in 1986 and was assigned to Posts in Defiance, Dayton and Sandusky before his final assignment at the Lorain Post in 1991.

Some of Torres’ Patrol awards include:
• Trooper of the year (three times)
• O.W. Merrell Award for Heroism
• Superintendents Citation
• “ACE” & Criminal Patrol” awards for his work in Stolen Cars and Felony Apprehensions
• Numerous awards from MADD
In 1990 Torres received a Certificate of Recognition for his role in extricating a woman from a burning car and saving her life.
In 2005 Torres received the States “Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award” for his countless hours of local Community Service work and for his work in Central America in EL Salvador.

Torres is proud of his 20 plus years of volunteer involvement with “Operation Open Heart” a Lorain County program geared towards mentoring children. Torres is also a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain and has assisted in numerous church activities including several trips to a small community in El Salvador called Chiltipan.

Lieutenant Travis Hughes said the Patrol is losing a great Trooper. “He’s one of the best and it’s been great working with him. He’s been great with the younger Troops and we’re all going to miss him.” When asked what he would do if Torres came into his office next week and asked for his job back Hughes said, “I’d give it to him.”

Torres was moved by the number of Officers that showed up at his house to escort him into work. “The Lt. told me to leave my car at the Post last night and that someone would pick me up this morning. I assumed maybe the nightshift guys would be here but when I walked out the door and saw everyone from the different departments I really got choked up. I meant so much to me that they did this.”

When asked about his favorite memory of his 26 years Torres recalled the day he pulled a girl from a burning car and helping save her life. “Many years after that a girl walked up to me and said, are you Trooper Torres? It was her and she thanked me for saving her life. She told me that she is now a nurse and helping others – It’s stories like hers that make it all worthwhile.” Torres said he has been honored to work with the other Troopers and other law enforcement officers in Lorain County. “They’re a class act. I have been so fortunate to have worked with such a professional group of men and women. I have truly been blessed.”

What’s next for Torres? “I served the Country as a Marine for 3 years, I served the State of Ohio for 26 years as a Trooper and now I’d like to serve the people of Lorain County as their Sheriff. I have filed all the necessary paperwork and I am running for Sheriff.”

Torres believes the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department is in need of new, fresh and innovative ideas as the County moves forward in tough economic times. “Lorain County is hurting financially like many communities across the United States. Our Sheriff’s Department has been struggling to keep Deputies on the road to protect our citizens and time and time again we see the Sheriff going to the Commissioners requesting additional funds and threatening to layoff Deputies if they don’t receive more funds. We need to understand that like our own citizens we need to work within our budgets and we also need to think outside of the box as to where to get more funds.”

Torres believes a Leader must “lead by example” and as Sheriff he will not be a “behind the desk” kind of Sheriff. “I’ll be out on the road with the Deputies as much as possible. I believe you have to be out there to understand what the Deputies are going through on a daily basis and to know what the needs of the community are – you can’t truly understand the needs by just looking at stats and charts. As Sheriff I will also commit to regular town hall style meetings throughout my administration so I can hear from the citizens from all over Lorain County.”

As for the immediate future Torres said he will spend the night with his family at his parent’s house and just enjoy a quiet weekend.

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