Tense Liverpool scene ends without incident

EAST LIVERPOOL – A Henry Avenue man was found barricaded in his bathroom with a rifle nearby Friday afternoon when city police officers entered his house to execute a search warrant.

Responding to a report from a neighbor that Leonard B. Coursin, 62, had stolen items from his garage, police had sought a search warrant for his home, located at the dead end of Henry Avenue.

According to police, the neighbor saw Coursin wheeling a compressor and other equipment from his garage but he had a rifle strapped to his back, and the neighbor was reluctant to confront him, calling police instead.

Detective Don Fickes secured the search warrant and he, Chief John Lane and six other officers headed to Coursin’s home just after 3 p.m., heavily armed and protected by bullet-proof vests, reportedly due to reports of him always carrying a gun and making threats, as well as having weapons in the home.

According to Lane, officers had previously gone to his home to speak with him about the alleged theft, but Coursin would not answer the door.

Arriving at the home, with handguns and other weapons drawn, officers surrounded the house and Lane knocked on the door, announcing their presence, but no one responded.

Armed with a battering ram, Patrolman Steve Adkins pounded on the front door leading to an enclosed porch, saying afterward it took numerous hits because the door was secured with bolt locks and also had been barricaded with items. A second door into the house also had to be broken into.

Once inside, officers found the bathroom door also barricaded and, once opened, reportedly found Coursin inside the bathtub, a rifle close by. He was brought from the house in handcuffs by Lane and Adkins without protest and was heard saying he had just been using the bathroom and hadn’t heard the officers knocking on the door.

Another rifle and a flare gun modified to fire shot gun shells was found inside the home, as well as a makeshift spear fashioned from a large kitchen knife duct-taped to a wooden pole.

Officers reported finding an air compressor, welder, battery charger, and other items matching the description of items the neighbor said had been taken.

He was charged with one count of breaking and entering.

Officers obtained materials from the city street department to board up the broken doors to secure Coursin’s home before leaving the scene.

Adkins reported the county dog warden had been at Coursin’s home earlier in the week and removed a dog from his property.

Other officers involved in the execution Friday were Capt. Darin Morgan and patrolmen Jim Krawiec, Fred Flati, John Headley and Greg Smith.

Fickes commended the officers, saying, “Everybody did a good job up there.”