Summer Safety


Recently I had the absolute pleasure of babysitting my two young granddaughters, ages three and four. 

As we celebrated summer with ice cream, swimming and fun at the park, I reflected on (what seems like) the inevitable stories we hear each year – a child dying after being left in a hot car. I cannot fathom what the families of these children go through after such a tragedy.

Of course there are potential charges associated with leaving a child (or pet) in a hot car – endangering children, cruelty to animals etc., but nothing can be as bad as suffering a horrific loss and knowing it was preventable. 

According to, an average of 38 children die each year from heat-related deaths in cars. Story after story is featured. A change in routine, a memory lapse, a shift in focus can have devastating effects.

As we kick-off summer, it’s important to slow down. Nothing can be taken for granted when the stakes are so high.

As tempting as it may be, NEVER leave children or pets in a car even for “just a few minutes” while you run an errand. Cracked windows do not help. Getting children in and out of a car seat is sometimes a hassle, but on a 75-degree day, a car can reach in excess of 100 degrees in just 10 minutes. Remember, children heat up faster than adults, and pets have a higher body temperature than people, and don’t cool down as efficiently.

So what can we do? Some tips include putting something like a cell phone, purse, or ID badge in the backseat. That way you will be forced to open the back door and do a double check.

Keep a stuffed animal in an unoccupied car seat. When the child is in the car seat, the stuffed animal goes in the front seat as a reminder.

Make arrangements with your daycare provider to call you if your child is not dropped off. Keep car doors and windows locked so children cannot play in a hot car and become trapped. Paying at the pump and going through the drive through are safer than going into a store and leaving children behind.

When it comes to your pets, love them enough to leave them home. And finally, if you see a child or animal in a hot car, get involved and notify authorities. It’s best to play it safe, and you may just save a life.

Trial Set For Chess Teacher Indicted
On Charges Of Sexual Misconduct

Trial is set for July 14 for F. Leon Wilson.

Wilson, 61, is charged two counts of gross sexual imposition - both third-degree felonies. He was indicted after a juvenile female reported she was touched inappropriately at her Lewis Center school.  

Bond Set For Booster Treasurer
Indicted On Theft Charge 
Bond is set at $10,000 for Laverne Tigges of Sunbury.

“Mr. Tigges was appointed treasurer of the Buckeye Valley Joint Boosters in the fall of 2013,” said Delaware County First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer. “During his tenure, Mr. Tigges is alleged to have used booster funds for personal use.”
Westerville Woman Indicted
For Identity Fraud/Theft

A Delaware County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against 57-year-old Cheryl A. Hartzell of Westerville. 

“Ms. Hartzell was entrusted by elderly neighbors to watch over their finances and act as power of attorney,” said Delaware County First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer. “It’s alleged she used the elderly couple’s money for personal use.”
An arraignment date is set for July 1.

Galena Man Sentenced To Prison For Child Pornography
Larry A. Paynter II was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.
In addition to prison, 36-year-old Paynter will be classified a tier II sex offender and must complete five years of post release control.
$500,000 Bond Set For
Man Facing Multiple Rape Charges 

The trial for 46-year-old Patrick M. Howell of Delaware is set for July 21. He faces five counts of rape.

“Charges come after Delaware County Job and Family Services referred a case of potential sex abuse to Delaware Police on May 15, 2015,” said Delaware County First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer. “The indictment alleges the repeated criminal misconduct occurred from April 12, 2013 through October 31, 2014 and lists the victim as being under the age of 13."
Man Sentenced To Prison For Rape

Abulay Nian was sentenced to five years in prison for rape.
Nian had been a personal care aide for the victim’s brother. In addition to prison, Nian will be labeled a tier III sex offender and must complete five years of post release control.

 Two Indicted For Intimidation
A Delaware County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against 26-year-old Nathaniel Clark (top left) of Delaware and 22-year-old Shadow Arthur (top right) of Marion. 

“A resident contacted authorities to report his neighbor, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Clark’s friend, Mr. Arthur, were threatening him,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “The resident stated the two men said they would harm him if he testified against Mr. Clark, who has a previous indictment.”
Both are charged with intimidation of a witness and aggravated menacing. Bond was set at $6,000 for Arthur. Clark's arraignment is July 1. 

Four Indicted In Retail Theft Ring

A Delaware County Grand Jury has returned a seven-count indictment against (pictured left to right above) 35-year-old Jamey Rose, 36-year-old Amber Rose, 43-year-old Jill Columber, and 32-year-old Ian Thacker, all from Marion.
“The defendants in this case worked in tandem,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “One person would allegedly shoplift and give the stolen items to the next person who would return the items for store credit. Yet another person would either use the store credit or sell it in order to obtain drugs.”

Various stores in the central Ohio area were targets, including grocery stores, pet stores, home improvement stores, and several large retail or box stores. In some instances, video surveillance is available.

All are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, and theft.

Arraignment dates have not yet been set.




P.O. BOX 8006
(740) 833-2690

Congratulations "Top Cop"

Delaware Police Officer Rita Mendel is recognized as a “Top Cop” by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office.

Chances are, if you don’t know Officer Mendel personally, you know her face. She's been with the Delaware Police Department for 25 years and has been a part of many initiatives and community events.
“Rita has been a consistent positive presence in our community,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “She’s really done and been a part of so much over the years, that it’s impossible to list all the reasons why she’s such a deserving candidate for this recognition.”
To name a few--- Rita founded the Citizen’s Police Academy. She serves as Safety Town Coordinator. Rita sits on the Safe Delaware Coalition and works on the Click It Or Ticket and Drive Sober campaigns. She is a member of the Multi-Agency Crisis Intervention Team and coordinates local crisis intervention programs.

Thank you, Officer Mendel, for being a “Top Cop” and protecting our community! Special thanks to “Top Cop” sponsor, Cracker Barrel, for providing each of our “Top Cops” with a complimentary dinner for two!

Meet Our Intern

Adam is a rising junior at Georgetown University and a familiar face.

Adam interned with us last summer and has returned for another summer. Welcome back Adam!

Meet Our Intern

Madison Troyer 23, is a student at The Ohio State University.
Halfway through her legal studies, Madison says she's learning a lot from her intern experience.
“I’ve enjoyed observing in court and getting the chance to do some real assignments like working on an appeal and researching some narrow areas of the law,” she said. “I’d like to thank the office for welcoming me and also for being willing to really teach me.”

Meet Our Intern

Bryan Dove just finished his first year of law school at The Ohio State University. He will be with us through July.
“I’m having a great time,” Bryan said. “Being part of a team is nice, and I really like the work.”

Invited To Speak

Thanks to the Lewis Center/Polaris Rotary for the invitation to speak! It was a pleasure to meet you all!

A Message Of Safety

We were proud to attend this year's Click It Or Ticket campaign.

To view a six 
minute video featuring local residents sharing their personal experiences about the importance of buckling up, click here.

Keynote Speaker

Thank you career-based educators for the invitation to speak at your annual conference. Keep up the great work!


A big THANK YOU to all who came out to Walk A Mile In Her Shoes. This event raises awareness about sexualized violence toward women. Men, if able, wear high heels to raise awareness and show support.
Copyright © 2013 DELAWARE COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. BOX 8006