Struthers cop on paid leave after domestic violence charge

By Jeanne Starmack


A city patrol officer will appear soon in court on a charge of domestic violence, court officials said Wednesday.

Richard Craig, 33, is on paid administrative leave after the complaint, which was filed by his wife May 13, said Police Chief Roy Roddy.

Craig was arraigned May 13 and pleaded innocent, according to the court. He is free on his own recognizance.

A court date has not been set for him on the charge, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Municipal Court Judge James Lanzo has recused himself from the case and has requested that the Supreme Court appoint another judge to hear it.

Craig’s wife arrived at the police station at 4:07 a.m. May 13 with her father to file the complaint, the police report says.

Craig is not accused of physically harming his wife.

Craig’s wife told police that her husband had been drinking since 1 p.m. the previous day.

Arguments over family matters began during the day and, after 9 p.m., began to arise again, the report says.

The report says Craig screamed at his wife and kicked furniture. He threatened to kill members of her family with his AK-47, she told police, and he indicated he “would do it in front of her so she would have to watch it.”

Craig’s wife left the house and went to a relative’s, where her husband contacted her on her cell phone and threatened to “put a bullet in [the relative’s] head,” the report says.

Eventually, her parents arrived, and her father told her to go to the police to get help in taking her three children out of the house, the report said.

She told police that Craig keeps an AK-47 with four loaded clips and a rifle or shotgun with ammunition nearby in the bedroom, and a St. Bernard that doesn’t like strangers was loose in the house.

Four officers, including the canine officer, went with her to the house to remove the children.

Craig slept through their arrival, and the children were removed, the report says.

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