Aside from possible jail time, hefty fines and forfeiture of his sound equipment, the New Castle man has put his probation in jeopardy.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mark Lett, on probation and with a warrant out for his arrest on a loud music charge, didn't hear the cops on bikes approach as he pumped gas.
Patrolmen Marc Gillette and Jeff Roberts say they had no trouble hearing Lett's sound equipment. The New Castle man's car stereo caught their attention as they rode on Avondale Avenue near the Shell gas station on Market Street.
"We heard the loud pounding boom of the bass," Gillette said. "He ran over and turned it down real quick as he was getting gas."
Gillette said Lett didn't see them at first, which is part of the bike patrol's effectiveness, the ability to come up quickly and quietly. The patrol, which includes Patrolmen Mike Anderson and Greg Miller, works two target areas on the South Side and focuses on quality-of-life issues, such a loud music and prostitution.
As Gillette and Roberts checked Lett's warrant status through the index operator, they found that the loud music citation they were writing Monday evening wasn't his first in the city.
The 34-year-old Wallace Avenue man received a citation April 27 on Belmont Avenue near Catalina Avenue when police heard his CD player -- amplified through four large speakers. He failed to appear in municipal court May 2 and the magistrate issued a warrant, which the bike patrol officers served.
Court date: At arraignment in municipal court Tuesday, Lett pleaded innocent. Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly set bond at $500 on the new charge and $1,000 on the old charge, allowing 10 percent to be paid. He'll be back in court July 2 for a pretrial with the magistrate.
Judge Kobly had Lett in her courtroom last October, when he pleaded no contest to a drug abuse charge. She sentenced him to 30 days in jail, suspended it all, fined him $100 and placed him on probation for one year.
If Lett is convicted of one or both of the two pending loud music charges, the judge could revoke his probation and reimpose the jail time she suspended.
In addition, the penalty for a first loud music conviction is a fine of $50 to $250. For a second conviction, the fine is $500, with the possibility of up to 60 days in jail and forfeiture of the stereo equipment.
Pending cases: When arrested by the bike patrol officers, Lett told them that he also has cases pending in two Mahoning County courts.
Records show that he's due in Austintown on Aug. 6, charged with driving while under court suspension. On Aug. 23, he's due in Boardman, charged with disorderly conduct and loud noise.