The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


A Pemberville Road man has filed a complaint in Wood County Common Pleas Court against Mark Hummer, the Lake Township police chief, and Paul Dobson, county prosecutor, alleging the chief illegally removed the man’s granddaughter from his home.

Dan Prewitt, who filed the complaint Monday, alleges the chief – at the direction of Dobson – violated his Fourth Amendment rights when he “unlawfully forced his way” into Prewitt’s residence on Jan. 13 and removed the girl.

Prewitt is asking for a jury trial and $300,000 in damages each from Dobson and Hummer.

According to his complaint, Prewitt on Jan. 10 picked up his granddaughter from school with the permission of her father, Andrew Prewitt, because the girl, who was involved in a custody dispute, claimed she had been threatened with a gun by a man staying with her aunt in Sylvania.

The girl didn’t want to return to her aunt’s home and she was charged with being unruly and taken to the county’s juvenile detention center, according to police reports.

Prewitt contends he immediately contacted the township police when he arrived home with the girl. His complaint asserts he is entitled to an “affirmative defense” shield from interfering in a custody matter.

“Defendants had threatened to unlawfully arrest every person in the household…namely the owners of the residence Dan and Andrea Prewitt including his son’s Andrew and Dan Jr. Prewitt,” the complaint says.

On Wednesday, Prewitt asked the Lake Township trustees to investigate chief Hummer’s actions.

“In my opinion he broke the law,” he said

Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, said “It sounds to me like he did his job.”

Phil Dombey, township solicitor, said he would discuss the matter with the trustees but told Prewitt that the trustees’ meeting wasn’t the proper place to discuss his complaint.

“You took the appropriate action. You’ll have your day in court,” he said.

Prewitt is representing himself in the lawsuit.

Chief Hummer declined to comment after the meeting.

In other business, the trustees discussed the township’s financial condition, focusing on tax levies.

A 5-year, 1-mill levy that funds the fire department is set to expire next year. The trustees are leaning toward seeking a renewal in November for the issue that generates about $223,860 annually. They noted that to instead seek a replacement of the levy, which would be based on current property valuations, would cause homeowners to lose a 10 percent rollback on their tax duplicate due to a change enacted by the state.

Fire chief Bruce Moritz said the trustees will also need to address other levies that support the fire and EMS department.

A contract with LifeStar for 24-hour paramedic service will expire next year, he said.

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