By DEVASTASHA BEAVER
A family stationed at the Route 534 and Route 84 intersection are “definitely a fraudulent group,” said John Munday, pastor of Park Street Christian Church, the church that was accepting donations for them.
Shirley and Jon Dishong of Newton Falls were holding signs at the intersection last week claiming a car crash left Shirley paralyzed, and claiming they were in need of diapers, wipes, and food. Shirley told the Star Beacon the accident occured on Feb. 23.
Munday said he called the Portage County Police who ran a search for the accident the Dishongs claimed happened on State Route 225. There were no accidents that met the description from Feb. 23 to 25, Munday said.
“Right away I picked up a lot of clues,” he said. “There were a lot of inconsistencies; they didn’t know the name of the people who hit them.”
The Dishongs said they had a 3-year-old child, and changed the alleged accident date, Munday said. Shirley told the Star Beacon her youngest child was four years old.
“We really, really wanted to help them,” Munday said. “We were hoping it was a legitimate situation.” He said he asked the Dishongs to attend the Sunday church service to introduce them as the family the church would help.
They didn’t show up, he said. “The service was so quiet. Everybody was so disappointed and so sad.”
Munday said any money sent to the church for the Dishongs will be returned to the senders. He said he hasn’t yet decided what will be done with any cash sent anonymously or without return information. He said it probably will be donated to a legitimate fund, or used for missions.
Munday said the Geneva Police are aware of the situation. The Geneva Police did not return calls.
“It’s just too bad they can’t get their lives together,” Munday said.
According to the Portage County Public Access Case Search database, Jon Dishong has been convicted of seven crimes between 1996 and 2007, including:
• Possession of drug paraphernalia, 1996;
• Domestic violence, 2000;
• Criminal mischief, 2001;
• Burglary, felony 2nd degree, 2006;
• Theft, felony, 4th degree, 2006;
• Obstructing official business, 2006.