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Standoff With Police Began When Man Used Assault Rifle To Shoot At Groundhog

Ronald Ewanek -- a man involved in a lengthy standoff with Mentor police -- pleaded guilty to obstruction of official business Monday

A man involved in a lengthy standoff with Mentor Police earlier this year pleaded guilty to obstructing official business Monday in Mentor Municipal Court.

As part of his plea, 54-year-old Ronald Ewanek also agreed to forfeit all of his guns and their ammunition.

Mentor Police came to Ewanek's house on Eastmoor Lane in September after Ewanek used a Feg 7.62 assault rifle to shoot at a groundhog, Lake County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Kaplan said.

Though other people were allowed to leave the house, Ewanek refused to come outside and talk to police -- even after the department's hostage negotiators came to the scene.

For several hours, Ewanek refused to take phone calls or negotiate via the loud speaker, police said.

After more than four hours of waiting and several tries to talk to Ewanek failed, the SWAT team used gas to flush Ewanek from the house, police said.

Ewanek pleaded guilty to one county of obstructing official business in Lake County Common Pleas Judge Vincent Culotta's courtroom Monday.

He also faced charges of inducing panic, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, use of a weapon while intoxicated and discharging a firearm in the city. However, they were dismissed Monday.

Ewanek is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 7. He faces up to one year in prison. However, the prosecutor and his defense attorney, Paul Hentemann, intend to jointly recommend that he be released on probation.

Ewanek has been staying in Lake County Jail since his arrest in September. Hentemann asked Culotta that Ewanek's bond be decreased so he could spend the holidays with his family and receive medical treatment.

Culotta decreased Ewanek's bond from $170,000 to $10,000 with certain caveats. First, Ewanek will be on house arrest if he posts his bond. He must also stay away from alcohol, drugs and any firearms.

He will also be outfitted with a portable device that tests his breath-alcohol level periodically.

As part of his plea, Ewanek forfeitted the following weapons that were taken from his home after his arrest: the Feg assault rifle, Feg 9-millimeter handgun, Ruger .22 long rifle, Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle and Foremost 3-06 rifle, as well as his ammunition, including a 100-round drum magazine for the assault rifle.

Anne December 04, 2012 at 01:25 PM
just your typical hunting weapons, right? do all of my neighbors have an arsenal like this? i sure hope so. that makes me feel a lot safer.
CCRady December 04, 2012 at 06:15 PM
He also faced charges of inducing panic, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, use of a weapon while intoxicated and discharging a firearm in the city. However, they were dismissed Monday. If i was one of his neighbors I would be furious that those charges were dropped. Those were the one's that could really endanger innocent people. shame on the prosecutor and shame on the judge for allowing that! Mr. Ewanek is no stranger to the Lake Cty court system and I beleive it's just a matter of time before something really dreadful happens in his neighborhood.

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