Tense incident ends safely

EAST LIVERPOOL – What began Tuesday morning as a routine parking complaint from the city Planning Department ended in the arrest of a Prospect Street man when he was found with a weapon.

Patrolman Jim Krawiec responded just after 10 a.m. to 433 Prospect St. for a complaint from the Planning Department about a disabled vehicle that had been parked on the street for some time.

He met housing inspector Rick Rudibaugh at the address and was advised letters had been sent by the Planning Department about moving the van, to no avail, and that it was to be towed.

Krawiec notified First Class Towing, and while he and Rudibaugh waited for the tow truck, they said Ronald Woodburn was sitting on the porch and said he owned the vehicle.

At one point, Woodburn reportedly told Krawiec and Rudibaugh he could not afford to lose another vehicle and “it wasn’t being towed today.”

When the tow truck arrived, Woodburn went into the house and then returned, coming to street level with Krawiec, Rudibaugh and tow truck operator Pat King.

Woodburn was carrying a blue cloth bag when he returned, and as Krawiec walked up to him to ask for a key to a power scooter chained to the van, Rudibaugh – who is also a city police dispatcher – told the officer something was hanging out of the blue bag Woodburn was carrying.

Krawiec was able to see a black pistol grip in a holster and backed Woodburn up against the van, reaching for the weapon. When Woodburn resisted, Rudibaugh and King assisted the officer and the gun was removed safely with no one injured, according to police Chief John Lane.

Reports indicated Woodburn became combative and had to be placed on the ground. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and obstructing official business.

His van and scooter were towed by First Class Towing, and Rudibaugh notified the county dog warden about an unknown number of dogs living inside the home in unhealthy conditions.

The Planning Department has condemned the home, according to reports.