Judge resets bond for suspect in police chase
The man was being held on a $1 million bond.
By ROGER G. SMITH
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Beaver Township man facing 19 charges from a two-county police chase has had a judge reset his bond and confine him to house arrest.
Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court set bond Wednesday at $250,000, with 10 percent required to be released, and electronically monitored house arrest for Christopher Aczel.
Police say Aczel, 33, of West Calla Road, led them on a chase in July. His vehicle rammed an unmarked cruiser containing three officers in Canfield, police said. Officers had tried to serve a search warrant on Aczel for other charges. The pursuit led to Portage County, where Aczel abandoned his vehicle and fled, police said. He surrendered a few days later.
Authorities also allege that on July 20 he attempted to remove a weapon from an officer and tried to escape from detention.
Aczel has been indicted on charges including breaking and entering, theft of drugs, drug possession, felonious assault on a police officer, receiving stolen property, possession of criminal tools, illegal cultivation of drugs, failure to comply with an order of a police officer, aggravated robbery and escape.
A county grand jury also returned a secret indictment against Aczel on July 14 on several drug charges.
The bond and house arrest are concurrent to both cases. That means, to be released, Aczel needs only to post $25,000 on the $250,000 bond.
Aczel must live with his parents on West Calla Road and cannot leave the home except a half-hour before and after court hearings. He cannot work and must get court approval to make medical appointments.
Community Corrections Association will monitor the house arrest.
Aczel was being held on $1 million bond. Atty. Ted Macejko Jr., who is representing Aczel, filed a motion last week seeking a lower bond. Macejko argued that despite a felony record, Aczel has always lived in Mahoning County and wasn't a flight risk.
Despite the many charges, the bond should have been reasonable to assure appearance in court, not as punishment or to prevent further crime, Macejko said.