Facing charges, firefighter suspended
By Jackie Harrison-Martin
PUBLISHED: September 5, 2007
SOUTHGATE. A 38-year-old firefighter has been suspended without pay since last week after city officials learned of felony and misdemeanor charges against him.
City administrators took the action against Michael Boyd of Southgate after learning of the firefighter being charged with one felony count of aggravated burglary, three misdemeanor counts of assault and a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest. Mayor Norma Wurmlinger said the information initially came through the Internet.
The mayor said Boyd is suspended without pay, as opposed to with pay, because of the felony charge. A decision on his employment is pending on the resolution of the case against him.
Wurmlinger said the suspension did not take place until officials had the complete police report on the incident.
The charges stem from an encounter Boyd had with an ex-girlfriend, her friend and the woman's father in Port Clinton, Ohio, on Aug. 16.
Wurmlinger said Fire Chief John Wlodkowski, along with the city and labor attorneys, were all in on the decision-making process to suspend the firefighter.
Wlodkowski has not returned calls for comment on the case.Boyd's attorney, Thomas DeBacco, was at a jury trial and initially could not be reached for comment.
He later told The News-Herald Newspapers: "I am honored to defend this young man who commits his young life to saving people and their property. I believe a jury is going to treat him quite favorably."
Boyd is accused of assaulting 25-year-old Melissa McCann, and her high school friend, Josh Large, 28, after driving to visit the woman and seeing the two together watching television.
According to a police report on the incident, McCann had noticeable bruises around both her eyes and upper left arm and Large, her friend and neighbor, also was attacked.
McCann ran to her father's house down the street and Boyd followed her, according to the police report. Police said Boyd kicked in 52-year-old Pat McCann's front door and when McCann tried to come between his daughter and Boyd the firefighter punched him in the lip, causing a bruise and a cut.
Police said Boyd left the house, but was spotted early the next day in a nearby trailer park.
Police officers found Boyd in a shed kissing a woman and said he refused to come out. He told officers they didn't have a warrant, a report said.
According to the police, Boyd was warned several times to come out of the shed and he became combative and attempted to push an officer in the chest when approached.
As they struggled, Boyd began using obscenities and informed police that he is a firefighter, the report says. After several more warnings, police said they sprayed Boyd with pepper spray and handcuffed him.
A pretrial hearing is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 29 before Judge Paul Moon of the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas. A trial date is set for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 8.