The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 17, 2013

Man who injured Conneaut police officer bound over to Ashtabula County grand jury

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — A man who injured a Conneaut police officer while fleeing custody last week has been bound over to the Ashtabula County grand jury, a Conneaut Municipal Court spokeswoman said.

Anthony J. West, 28, of Youngstown, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Judge Thomas Harris on Tuesday. West is charged with assault of a police officer, a fourth-degree felony, and remains in jail in lieu of bond, according to court records.

Harris also set a Jan. 29 trial date for West on three misdemeanor charges: Obstructing justice, resisting arrest and obstructing official business, the spokeswoman said.

West plans to hire his own legal counsel.

On Oct. 7, a police officer stopped West as he was walking in the area of Shenango Street. Police were investigating the possibility that a group of men may be trying to throw contraband into the Lake Erie Correctional Institution.

West did not answer the officer's questions, instead paying attention to the cellular telephone he was holding. When the officer tried to apply handcuffs, West spun around pushed the open cuffs into the officer's hand, causing a laceration, according to a report.

West fled the scene, but was apprehended a few blocks away at a self-serve car wash.

Also arrested there were three other men police say were trying to aid West's escape.

Those men -- Jawann Evans, 35, and Brandon Miller, 28, both of Youngstown, and Cregg Vaughn, 39, of Ashtabula -- have been charged with obstructing official business. They will appear in Conneaut Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Police encountered West a short distance from LaECI, where officers have become more visible in response to reports of prison smuggling. West, who was walking away from the prison, when he met the police officer, was wearing clothes covered in snow, mud and stains from vegetation, according to a report.