Former Cortland police chief charged with leaving the scene of an accident

Staff report


Former Cortland Police Chief Gary M. Mink will be arraigned Wednesday in Central District Court, accused of failing to stop after a June 24 accident on state Route 46 in Bazetta Township.

Mink’s Jeep left the roadway at 6:33 p.m. near Tamer Win Golf Course, traveled 210 feet through the right-side ditch and hit a culvert, leaving behind parts of the car, which came back onto the road.

Mink, 61, then continued north on Route 46, apparently with a flat tire, and continued two miles to his home in Cortland. He reported not being injured.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, which investigated the accident, said Cortland police followed a mud trail to Mink’s home two miles away and located the vehicle.

When a sergeant with the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to Mink’s home to question him, Mink “refused to come answer the door,” according to a highway patrol report obtained by The Vindicator.

The OSHP sergeant left Mink’s home but later reached Mink by telephone. Mink agreed to meet with troopers at 3 p.m. the next day at a Cortland body shop to give a statement.

In the statement, Mink said, “I had planned to notify police within 24 hours.” When asked why he left the scene, he said “there was no other vehicles involved, and I knew I had 24 hours to call it in.”

When Mink was asked if he was distracted by anything, he said, “Looked over [at] the [Tamer Win] driving range.” The crash occurred just after a curve in the road.

Mink told the sergeant he had consumed one drink at noon and had three to four glasses of vodka after the crash. When asked whether he did anything to avoid the crash, Mink answered: “It happened so fast.”

In addition to leaving the scene of an accident, Mink was cited for failure to control, both misdemeanors. Damage to his vehicle included a flat right front tire and damage to the front bumper, right front fender and undercarriage, the patrol said.

Mink’s successor as chief took office in 2012.

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