UPDATE: The Portage County Sheriff's Office says Deputy Michael Bussinger is being treated at the burn unit at an Akron-area hospital, but there was not update on his condition yet this morning.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Jay E. Brannon, the suspect who reportedly had a metal can filled with a flammable liquid that he lit and then tossed at Deputy Bussinger, has been charged with five counts of attempted aggravated murder and five counts of aggravated arson.

It happened while deputies were serving a warrant on Brannon at his apartment in Rootstown. According to the Beacon, Brannon was one of Portage County's Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives.


(Jay E. Brannon - Portage County Jail) 

A deputy with the Portage County Sheriff was set on fire while serving a felony warrant Thursday night, according to a release from Sheriff David Doak.

Around 6:45, deputies arrived at the suspect's residence in the 3900 block of State Route 44. As the deputy approached the suspect, he threw a flammable liquid onto the deputy and then lit it on fire, burning the deputy and setting the building on fire.

The deputy was taken to the burn unit at an Akron hospital, and according to the Sheriff, other officers were treated for smoke inhalation.

The suspect was taken into custody. Sheriff Doak is expected to release more information today.

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Tuesday, 04 December 2018 11:20

Sheriff: Ravenna Man Forged CCW Permits

A Ravenna NRA instructor was arrested Monday, charged with issuing fake concealed carry permits to participants of his class.

According to reports, Anthony Drago, 47, forged concealed carry training certificates without providing the required training, that by law must include at least 8 hours of class time and two hours of range time.

The Record Courier is reporting that Drago's charged with four counts of tampering with records, four counts of falsification to obtain a concealed-carry weapon permit, and four counts of forgery. 

Drago was arrested Monday and arraigned in Portage County Court before he was released on $20,000 personal recognizance bond. 

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Thursday, 06 September 2018 08:45

New Life in 90's Cold Cold

Deputies from Portage County and Geauga County Sheriff's Offices, along with Ohio BCI, were searching the property of a Hiram man, in connection to a missing persons case from the early 90's.

According to the Record Courier, the warrant was executed at the property of Glenn Roger Shoemaker, on Winchell Road. His father, Melvin Shoemaker, a millionaire, went missing in 1994 when he was 71-years-old, and hasn't been heard from since.

The elder Shoemaker's wife, Florence, went missing in 2003 from Ravenna.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:51

Accident in Driveway Leaves Child Dead

The Portage County Sheriff's Office is investigating what appears to be a tragic accident that left a young boy dead outside of his grandparents' home. 

According to Sheriff David Doak's office, on August 8th, at about 12:15 p.m., his office received an emergency call to a home on Hopkins Road in Nelson Township. The report goes on to say that the 6-year-old boy was hit by a car driven by his mother as she was pulled out of the driveway. 

The Sheriff's Office report does not indicate whether or not the boy's mother was driving forward or in reverse, but a report from the Akron Beacon Journal indicates she was going forward, out of the driveway toward Hopkins Road. 

While the investigation is ongoing, the Sheriff's report indicates that drugs nor alcohol appear to be factors in the accident, as deputies described the incident as a "tragic loss for the family who have requested privacy during this time of mourning." 


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A former employee at the Portage County Family and Community Services is suing the deparment, the Portage County Sheriff's Office, and a former Sheriff's Major, claiming she was forced to quit her job after she was sexually harrassed by that major.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Akron, details comments allegedly made by Major Dennis Missimi, who the woman claims asked her to take pictures of herself while she was in the bathroom, among other harrassing comments or actions.

The Akron woman shared an office with the Sheriff's Department between January and May in 2017. She is seeking $500,000 in damages.  

Executive Director of Family and Community Services Mark Frisone told the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, "Obviously, we're going to take this very seriously." 

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A Newton Falls man is charged with attempted murder in the assault of a man in Ravenna Township.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office says 47 year-old David Smith, with a last known address in Newton Falls, was arrested today/Friday without incident.

He's charged with the October 2015 assault of 24 year-old Quortney Tolliver in Ravenna Township. Tolliver was found with massive head trauma.

The Portage County Grand Jury handed down four indictments against Smith, including attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

He's being held on no bond in the Portage County Jail, and his arraignment will be Monday afternoon

(Portage County Sheriff's Office, news release) Portage County Sheriff David W. Doak announced today the arrest of David M. Smith, age 47, with a last known address of 613 Ridge Road, Newton Falls, Ohio. Smith was taken into custody today without incident.

On October 16, 2015 Deputies responded to an incident that had occurred at 2615 SR 59, Lot 49 in Ravenna Township, Portage County. This was the residence of Quortney Tolliver, age 24. Tolliver was found to have been assaulted and was suffering from massive trauma to the head. Since that time there has been an ongoing investigation into who was responsible for this. Smith was identified as a person of interest. This investigation was presented to the Portage County Grand Jury who issued indictments against Smith for the following:

ATTEMPTED MURDER 1st degree felony (2 counts)
FELONIOUS ASSAULT 2ND degree felony (1 count)
AGGRAVATED ROBBERY 1st degree felony (1 count)
AGGRAVATED BURGLARY 1st degree felony (1 count)

Smith is currently being held at the Portage County Jail with no bond. Smith will be arraigned on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 1:15 PM.

Sheriff Doak would like to thank the Newton Falls Police Department for their assistance in taking this subject into custody.

Smith does have a extensive criminal history and is currently on parole. Smith does have prior convictions for Aggravated Robbery, Attempted Robbery, Attempted Aggravated Vehicular Felonious Assault, and Assault.

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