June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Man indicted on two counts

MEDINA — The man who reportedly shot at sheriff’s deputies last month has been indicted on two counts of intimidation, third-degree felonies.

The charges, filed this week, carry a firearm specification, which means Dennis Heavilin, 62, of 8979 River Styx Road, Guilford Township, could receive an additional three years in prison on each count, if convicted.

According to Ohio law, intimidation can occur when someone hinders a public servant from performing his job by threatening harm.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman explained Friday the charges apply because the deputies were at Heavilin’s home to check on his welfare.

“They were going there to help him and he wanted them off his property. So he shot at them to get them off the property,” Holman said.

Heavilin was indicted last month on two counts of vandalism, fifth-degree felonies, and a charge of inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor. He pleaded not guilty last week.

Two sheriff’s deputies responded to Heavilin’s home in separate cars on March 22 after mental health nonprofit Alternative Paths reported he was threatening suicide just before 5:30 p.m.

“When they pulled in, they got out of their cars and he opened fire,” Sheriff Neil Hassinger said last month.

Heavilin reportedly hit one deputy’s cruiser and the other’s sport utility vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Office reported about 11 shots came from an upstairs window facing the street. The shots hit the cruiser at least seven times, including in the windshield, hood and passenger-side window. One of the bullets lodged in the driver’s seat at chest level.

Hassinger said deputies did not fire back and quickly called for backup before securing the area.

He said negotiators arrived, along with the Medina County SWAT team, and talked to Heavilin through the window before he surrendered at 7:01 p.m.

“Through everybody’s efforts, he came out on his own,” Hassinger said.

Heavilin remains in the Medina County Jail on $1 million bond.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.