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Born to be bad?
How compromises begin: The men tell their stories

Feature
Greg Todd’s story
  • 1977 – Born on Oct. 16.
  • 1993 – Arrested at 15 for trafficking marijuana. He is humiliated in front of entire school.
  • 1996 – Graduated from East Liverpool.
  • 1996 – Father dies of heart attack in December.
  • 1996 – Underage drinking arrest in East Liverpool.
  • 1998-1999 – Attended Kent State University Trumbull Campus.
  • 2000 – Enrolled in Ohio Valley Business College.
  • 2001 – Started using opiates.
  • 2002 – Moves into a home in East Liverpool with girlfriend, Misty, whom he has been dating since 1996.
  • 2003 – Drug use progressed to heroin and oxycontin.
  • 2003 – Forged one of his girlfriend’s checks for the cable bill. Misty changes the locks after being engaged for seven years.
  • From 2004 to 2008 — Greg’s record shows he had nine petty thefts, three drug abuse instrument charges, a driving under suspension, two obstructions of justice and a charge for resisting arrest. His underage drinking and drug trafficking charges happened in high school. All charges are in Columbiana except for two theft charges, which happened in Stark (2006) and Jefferson (2007).
  • 2008 – Enters Detroit Teen Challenge in December after serving 10 months in jail.
  • 2009 – Kicked out of Detroit Teen Challenge in March after sneaking out of the facility at night. Later that month, cousin Elaine Kloss calls Kevin Rauch at Ohio Valley Teen Challenge on Todd’s behalf.
  • 2009 – Enrolls April 9 into Ohio Valley Teen Challenge
  • 2010 – Graduates Teen Challenge on April 30 and begins internship at OVTC.
  • 2010 – Finishes internship in July and becomes a staff member at OVTC.
Video

Broken Lives day 2

Story

Story By: Todd Franko

About the Series

Most of you, there is no doubt, would not have liked Bob, Greg or Anthony. Truth is, they would not have liked you, either, except if you were a means toward feeding their drug habit.

Feature
Connecting with OVTC

Here’s a breakdown of various ways to contact and help Ohio Valley Teen Challenge.

  • Do you or someone you know have a problem with substance abuse? Contact Intake Director Rick Quinn at 330-734-9030.M
  • Do you want to help OVTC’s operational costs with a donation? Checks can be made/mailed to Ohio Valley Teen Challenge, P.O. Box 807, Youngstown, 44501.
  • Or you can go to ohiovalleyteenchallenge.com to make an online donation with your credit card.
  • Do you have a work project?
    • Ohio Valley Teen Challenge works for donations. If you would like to know how you can help OVTC, and how OVTC can help you, call Bob Pavlich at 330-743-9030.
  • Current work projects through OVTC:
    • Landmark Event Staffing Services
    • Covelli Center
    • Canfield Fairgrounds
    • City of Youngstown
    • Arlington Heights
    • Jubilee Homes
    • Dan’s Landscaping, Austintown
  • OVTC-run programs:
    • Meridian Carwash and Detail
    • Hope Kitchen
    • Landscaping
Feature
Doug Livingston

Reporter,
TheNewsOutlet.org

Geoffrey Hauschild

Photographer
The Vindicator

BROKEN LIVES || Born to be bad?

Story Published on November 1, 2010
How compromises begin: The men tell their stories

By DOUG LIVINGSTON

TheNewsOutlet.org

Anthony Sanders is wary of what he says, even within the protective walls of Ohio Valley Teen Challenge. The men he has wronged are the kind who carry loaded weapons and do not easily let go of a grudge.

“Stuff does happen to people when they talk too much,” he cautions. “I pray there’s no repercussions.” Greg Todd knows all too well that people will talk. His bad reputation growing up in East Liverpool follows him today.

Sitting at OVTC, he rests his head against his clasped hands, his eyes fixed on the table. He recalls the cement cell in the Columbiana County Jail where he sat on a thin bed sheet over a stiff mattress covering a metal rack. In all his life, he had never felt so alone.

“Literally jumping out of my skin,” he remembered. “There was no one I could call. There was no one.”

As Bob Pavlich sits behind his OVTC desk, air whistles through his nasal passage. He squeezes the tip of his nose between his thumb and index finger. It’s the lingering irritation in his nasal passages caused by years of cocaine use, which has left a dime-sized hole in his septum. We are all on a path in life. Not all paths are perfect.

For Todd, Sanders and Pavlich, their paths that were laden with drugs and crime all started with seemingly harmless compromises as young boys.

Pavlich, 32, is now an ordained pastor and director of operations at OVTC, working up the group’s ranks after being a graduate himself. But in Poland — as a kid — he was a thug.

Sanders, 23, is from the west side of Warren. He is a resident at OVTC. Like many of the men, he has a child waiting for him after rehabilitation and family relationships to reconcile.

Todd, 32, is in between roles at OVTC. He has graduated from OVTC and is following in the footsteps of Pavlich.

Todd is currently a staff supervisor for one of the program’s work outfits. Todd grew up in what he calls a good home with happily married parents.

“Dad worked hard every day. Mom was a stay-home mom.”

Todd is the youngest of three children. His sister is seven years older, his brother 11 years older. He said he felt like an only child because of the age gap.

He received good grades in school. He played baseball from age 8 and picked up football at 14.

Sanders’ childhood was the opposite. His was filled with contempt.

“My parents divorced,” Sanders said. “Me and my brother, we stuck close. ... We chose to live with my dad.”

Sanders, 10 at the time, takes credit for raising his brother, who was three years younger. Sanders, in turn, said he was raised at the bar his dad owned.

“My dad always had money,” he said. “It was so easy for me growing up to never have to worry about running out of money ’cause I would just go rob dad.”

At 14, Sanders would stay at a friend’s place and sneak into his father’s house. He knew every creak in every step. He slipped into his father’s wallet and took $200 to $300 each time. Pavlich grew up in Poland with supportive parents like Todd’s and without the worry of money, like Sanders.

His family’s history gave no indication of the troubles he would encounter.

“No drugs, no alcohol, no anything,” Pavlich said. “I come from a good family.”

At 11, he was golfing with his dad. He pitched for his baseball team. He was an active child and received encouragement from his family.

“I remember as a kid, me and my dad used to go bowling like every Friday night. You know, because we’d have bowling league on Saturday.”

Summers were spent vacationing. Pavlich recalls golfing on the nicest courses Myrtle Beach offered.

“Actually, I had a real good life. Just your typical ... Poland kid.” Pavlich remembers his first car, a humble 1984 Celebrity.

“Thinking I was sweet, pulling the seats back, ’cause I was a gangsta,” he said through a sarcastic laugh.

“Wearing my hat crooked and living in Poland. You know, people still do that these days, and it makes me laugh.”

He first tried alcohol at a Fourth of July party. He snuck cigarettes from family members and did all those things a boy is told not to do. He did them because he thought it was cool.

“That’s how my first compromises started,” Pavlich said. He would slowly cave in to drugs and alcohol until he couldn’t wake up without snorting cocaine and washing it down with rum.

Pavlich would not be alone.

Todd battled heroin addiction that wreaked havoc on his life and the ones he loved. His addiction led to petty thefts that landed him in jail for half of his 20s. Sanders survived a series of near-fatal incidents and a life of crime fueled by his addiction.

The stories of Greg, Bob and Anthony continue Thursday. On Tuesday, we continue the story of OVTC.

The NewsOutlet is a joint media venture by student and professional journalists and is a collaboration of Youngstown State University, WYSU radio and The Vindicator.



Comments

1 Askmeificare (711 comments) posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I wish I could believe in addicts getting rehabbed, but I don't.

What I do believe in is getting these addicted people out of our town so the rest of us can start stabilizing and rebuilding our town and families without the addicts b**lls**t again and again and again coming to the forefront causing problems for everyone.

And what kind of woman would date and have the child of an addict? Just how stupid and mindless can people, even the youth, be?

If addicts want to kill themselves with dope, why not offer them legal executions and save all of us the headaches.

Don't want to sound insensitive, but too bad if my comments offend. Aren't we all tired of losers and the misery they bring.

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