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AUSTINTOWN Judge orders weapons destroyed



Published: Tue, November 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Austintown police will send the weapons to a steel mill to be melted.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Shotguns, shells, bows and arrows, which police found in Gary Bauschatz's house four years ago, won't be there when he goes home in two weeks.

A judge in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court signed an order Monday that the items be destroyed. Bauschatz, 55, of North Beverly Avenue, Austintown, is under a court order that prohibits him from possessing any type of weapons.

Bauschatz has been in mental hospitals since March 1997, when he held police at bay for more than 13 hours after they responded to a report of gunshots' being fired inside his house.

Will go home: Although Bauschatz is still considered mentally ill and subject to hospitalization, authorities have agreed that his condition has improved to the point that he can go home with certain restrictions.

After the standoff, police seized two shotguns, a .22-caliber rifle, several rounds of ammunition, two crossbows, several arrows, a hunting knife and an ammunition belt from Bauschatz's house and garage.

The weaponry will be taken to North Star Steel, where it will be incinerated, said Lt. Mark Durkin of the Austintown Police Department. He said police had to keep the weapons as evidence until the judge decided what to do with them.

Judge James C. Evans also ordered that police search Bauschatz's home for weapons before he is allowed to return. Durkin said police just received that order Monday and are in the process of arranging the search.

Any weapons found will also be seized and destroyed according to Judge Evans' order.

Time for search: Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said police have about a two-week window to do the search because Bauschatz will spend that long in a local crisis center before going home. If Bauschatz violates any of the conditions of his release, he could be returned to the hospital for up to 10 years, Macejko said.

Bauschatz was indicted on criminal charges after the shooting, but he will not be required to stand trial because he was found innocent by reason of insanity.

bjackson@vindy.com




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