Munroe Falls -- A Stow man has been sentenced to two years in prison for holding a woman against her will in March.
According to Summit County Court of Common Pleas records, Judge Paul Gallagher sentenced 26-year-old Marcella Avenue resident John B. Crawford after he pleaded guilty to second-degree felony kidnapping July 19. In a plea deal, according to court records, the charge was reduced from first-degree felony kidnapping; misdemeanor charges of assault and unlawful restraint were dismissed prior to Crawford's plea.
According to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections records, Crawford is currently incarcerated in the Lorain Correctional Institution. Scott Rilley, Crawford's attorney, did not return a phone call seeking comment before press time.
According to a police report, Munroe Falls police officers responded to a home in Gaylord Drive's 200 block at about 9 p.m. March 29 after receiving a 911 call. In an April 5 press release, Police Chief Jerry Hughes said the call was incomplete, with someone screaming about being attacked before hanging up.
Hughes said that when police arrived, they found Crawford "screaming and basically incoherent." Crawford was "secured," said Hughes, and then police learned that a then 24-year-old Munroe Falls woman and a then 30-year-old Mahoning County man were at the Stow Police Department reporting that she had been abducted and he had been assaulted. Munroe Falls police brought them back to the Munroe Falls Police Department and interviewed them, said Hughes.
Hughes said that the woman reported she drove to an unspecified location to meet Crawford, described in the press release as an "acquaintance" of the woman's, and she alleged "shortly after she arrived Crawford began making threats and kidnapped her forcing her to drive to multiple locations in an attempt to get cash. At one point Crawford was confronted by the victim's male friend and the friend was then assaulted by Mr. Crawford."
According to court records, Crawford, while in the woman's car with her, told her that he was kidnapping her and was going to tie her up with zip ties, put her in the trunk and then lock her in a basement. The court records also allege that the woman "believed she could not leave the car or John Crawford would harm her and her family."
According to the police report, 17 zip ties and a knife were taken as evidence.
The assault charge stemmed from an allegation that Crawford "repeatedly" punched the Mahoning County man in the face, according to court records.
The police report stated the Mahoning County man suffered an "apparent minor injury."
No injuries to the woman were reported.
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