An on-going dispute over parking and access to a garage in a Lake Township neighborhood has resulted in the arrest of an 84-year-old township man.
Police on June 12 charged James A. Caswell, of Cramer Street, after he allegedly slapped the arm of a township police officer who’d been called to a Kearsley Street property where Caswell was involved in a dispute over vehicles parked in the driveway to a garage he uses.
The charge is a fourth-degree felony. According to the police report, Caswell had been warned repeatedly to stop yelling before he allegedly struck the officer.
According to police, Caswell went to the police station earlier that day and talked with Police Chief Mark Hummer, complaining about cars in the driveway.
A court order issued by Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Pollex allows Caswell access with a vehicle to the garage but also allows residents who rent a home on the property to park in the driveway but not to block access to the three-car garage.
According to the police report, the residents’ vehicles were not blocking access to the garage but Caswell was in the driveway with a camera and claimed Chief Hummer told him he had permission to have their cars towed.
The residents then called the police.
Chief Hummer said he had warned Caswell that he had no right to tow the cars if they were parked to the side of the driveway. The chief said he advised him he could be arrested if he tried to have them towed or harassed the residents.
“It’s ridiculous and a horrible waste of taxpayers money,” the chief said. “We must have been out there 25 times.”
The access issue even was discussed during the June 5 meeting of the township trustees when irate neighbors of the Kearsley property complained about vehicles parking along their yards.
Chief Hummer explained to the residents his officers have been following the provisions of Judge Pollex’s order.
That order, issued in 2011 and later amended, attempts to settle a dispute Caswell had with his daughter and her husband after Caswell conveyed the Kearsley parcel to them in 2002, including the property where the garage and a storage shed are located. They built a home on the parcel but gave Caswell the right of access to the garage and shed.
According to records in Perrysburg Municipal Court, township police charged him in 2011 three times with disorderly conduct and once with criminal trespassing.