LISBON - A man acting suspiciously and found with a loaded handgun in one of the guest rooms at the Spread Eagle Tavern was arrested by the sheriff's department Sunday night.
Kevin Lynn Wingert, 51, Stafford Street, Minerva, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after employees requested deputies remove him from the business at 7:28 p.m. Sunday. He was reportedly acting suspiciously and employees had asked him to get his things and leave. They credited his credit card for the amount of the room.
Deputy Sgt. Michael Helman went with Wingert to gather his belongings and that is when the loaded semi-automatic gun was found, the sheriff's office said.
Wingert was taken to the Columbiana County Jail where he appeared from by video arraignment Monday morning before County Municipal Judge Carol Robb. He pleaded not guilty to the first-degree misdemeanor charge and bond was set at $25,000. A pretrial was scheduled for Thursday.
Employees of the Spread Eagle Tavern also reported on Saturday there had been a man there acting suspiciously, but he left in a silver vehicle and was not found by deputies at that time. The report does not state if the two reports involved the same person, although both reportedly hailed from Minerva.
According to the business' website, the Spread Eagle Tavern was commissioned to be built in 1837. Besides historical figures staying in the inn, it has become a stop for several Republican candidates and politicians in recent years. The list includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Sen. John McCain and Gov. John Kasich, who all have made stops or dined at the Spread Eagle Tavern since 2009.