Township police Chief Todd Coonce was shoved by an Orville man Saturday night, as he assisted officers on state Route 7 who were trying to arrest the man on a charge of disorderly conduct.
According to reports, Richard Jones, 33, had been traveling in the back of a minivan with friends from Yankee Lake Truck Night. Jones, who had been drinking according to the report, became violent before they left the event, and continued to pick fights among the van’s passengers during the drive home.
Police said one of the arguments ended up with Jones repeatedly punching one of the passengers in the head. The driver of the van pulled into a gas station, and Jones was pulled out of the car.
When police arrived, the driver offered to pay for a motel room for Jones and pick him up in the morning. Jones became angry at the suggestion, throwing his cellphone at the driver and threatening police.
Officers called for Coonce, who was working at Truck World Mall. Coonce arrived and introduced himself to Jones, who replied: “That means nothing to me, bro,” according to the police report.
Jones, who is 200 pounds, became more aggressive and was arrested, but refused to get into a cruiser. Officers pepper-sprayed him but he remained belligerent, even having to be restrained as ambulance crews rinsed his eyes.
Jones shoved Coonce and threatened officers numerous times. Coonce reported that his wrist watch had been broken during the scuffle.
On the way to the Trumbull County jail, Jones reportedly spat all over the back seat and windows of the cruiser. Police said that he continued to resist as deputies took custody of him, the police report said.