LOWELLVILLE Toledo driver arrested in stolen SUV
Police said that when he was on his way to jail, the man admitted making up the stories.
By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
LOWELLVILLE -- Police charged a Toledo man with receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence, driving under suspension, falsification and obstructing official business after accusing him of fabricating a rape report and driving a stolen vehicle.
Josh Douglas Liechty, 21, flagged down a village police officer around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near the high school football field and told him a woman was being raped inside a white Sebring convertible at the corner.
Reports state a second officer witnessed the exchange from a distance and watched Liechty back the gray Ford Explorer he was driving over the curb near the village bike path after the officer he'd flagged down left the scene.
As the second officer approached the car, Liechty got out and nearly fell on the ground, telling this officer that a friend was in trouble and that the first officer had gone to check on the friend.
Reports state Liechty smelled of alcohol.
When the second officer radioed the first officer to verify Liechty's story, the first officer informed the second that he was unable to locate a car matching Liechty's description at the site of the alleged rape attack.
What was learned
A check of the license plate of the vehicle Liechty was driving revealed it had been reported stolen in Wauseon, Ohio.
Liechty then showed an Ohio driver's license with a fictitious name, Aaron Jakeway, and told the second officer that the vehicle belonged to his estranged girlfriend and that he had not stolen it.
He also told the officer that he had recently started working at a new job in Boardman and had come to Lowellville to buy drugs with an acquaintance he met less than a week ago.
Liechty told police the acquaintance had gotten into a gray Chevrolet Caprice and then he saw two flashes and heard two gunshots. He told police he was scared and drove off.
A search of the area where Liechty told police the episode had taken place yielded no evidence.
Liechty was arrested on a charge of receiving stolen property and was taken to the Mahoning County Jail. While en route, he told the officer driving that he had fabricated the stories, police said.
At the jail, a second identification card was discovered in his wallet. The second card identified him as Josh Liechty, who is wanted on warrants out of Fulton County for receiving stolen property.
Liechty was to be arraigned in Struthers Municipal Court this morning.