Warren police officer pleads guilty to reduced charge, pays fine
By Ed Runyan
Police officer Tim Parana said he “made a mistake of getting out of the car” at his girfriend’s ex-husband’s house in February and having a confrontation with him.
Parana, who pleaded guilty Friday in Warren Municipal Court to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, told visiting Judge David Fury of Geauga County he wants to continue to “do the job I love” as a police officer. Parana has been an officer 20 years.
Judge Fury ordered Parana to pay a $150 fine and court costs.
Before sentencing, the judge asked Parana if he would like to explain what happened.
Parana, who has been a “temporary sergeant” since early this year, said he was driving to his girlfriend’s house when her ex-husband pulled into her driveway and “cussed, made threats,” then drove away.
Parana, who was dressed in his police uniform but was off-duty, said he went to the ex-husband’s house and spoke to him from a seated position in Parana’s personal vehicle.
Parana said he told the man to stay away from his girlfriend’s house because he “wasn’t supposed to be there.”
Parana said he realizes he should not have gotten out of the car, but “I had a lot going on,” including the recent death of a friend, and his father was dying of cancer.
Judge Fury replied that he was “real disappointed” in the officer’s behavior.
“Mr. Parana, as a police officer, you are a peace officer first. In this case, you went over the line,” the judge said.
Because Parana noted that his girlfriend had told Parana her ex-husband was “unstable,” the judge asked: “Why did you go over there?”
The ex-husband did not attend the hearing even though he told John Lewis, the special prosecutor for the case, that he would. Lewis is an assistant Ashtabula County prosecutor.
A Warren Police Department internal-affairs investigation indicated that Parana refused to leave the ex-husband’s property even after being asked multiple times, stood “nose-to-nose” with the man and made threats including “I’m going to get you.”
Parana was charged criminally with menacing and criminal trespass. The second charge was dismissed as part of Parana’s plea. The menacing was reduced to disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdeameanor.
Police Chief Eric Merkel suspended Parana for 32 working days – 320 hours – for six violations of the police department’s policies and procedures.