Ohio News Briefs

GOP candidate faces extortion charge in text-fueled campaign

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Republican woman who sought to unseat an Ohio lawmaker by revealing sexual text messages they exchanged is facing criminal charges related to her tactics.

The Dayton Daily News reports 36-year-old nurse Jocelyn Smith, of Fairborn, was indicted June 15 on a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion related to her unsuccessful GOP primary campaign against state Rep. Rick Perales, of Beavercreek.

Smith used a 2015 text exchange with Perales, which he acknowledged, in an unusual #MeToo-fueled primary bid .

She launched her campaign with a partial release of the texts, escalated allegations against Perales to include assault, then demanded he resign or see further texts released.

Smith’s attorney calls the indictment a witch hunt by the “good-old-boys” network.

Her arraignment is July 6.

Firefighter killed in compressed air cylinder accident

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — Officials say an accident involving a compressed air cylinder has killed a firefighter in southwest Ohio.

The Times-Gazette of Hillsboro reports that firefighter and emergency medical technician Joe Patterson died Sunday afternoon following the accident at Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District in Hillsboro. District spokesman Branden Jackman says Patterson was working with compressed air cylinders when he was critically injured by one of the cylinders.

Jackman says the fire district and the Highland County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the accident.

Details for Patterson’s memorial services will be announced in the coming week.

Police: 5 wounded as over 70 shots were fired outside bar

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Police say an apparent altercation inside an Ohio bar spilled outside and led to an exchange of gunfire that left five people shot and wounded.

Police say evidence shows more than 70 shots were fired in the confrontation shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday at a bar in Sandusky, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Toledo.

Sandusky police say one wounded person was flown to a hospital. Investigators haven’t publicly identified the injured or shared details about their conditions.

Police Chief John Orzech tells the Sandusky Register that officers believe the altercation involved residents of Sandusky and Toledo. Orzech says several firearms were found at the scene.

So far, there has been no word of any charges related to the shooting.

Suspect arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed officer

MENTOR, Ohio (AP) — Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed an Ohio officer.

Mentor police say the suspect was taken into custody Sunday evening and has not been charged.

Authorities say the police officer had stopped to assist with a traffic stop in Mentor around 1 a.m. Sunday when the driver struck him and fled the scene. The officer was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

City spokesman Ante Logarusic says the officer and suspect’s identities will be released at 11 a.m. Monday.

No further information about the crash has been released.

Mentor is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Cleveland.