Man who threatened governor, others faces charges
LISBON — A Leetonia man who attempted to file treason charges against Gov. Mike DeWine at county Common Pleas Court on Thursday morning appeared on an aggravated menacing misdemeanor charge in county Municipal Court on Friday morning.
A Jan. 28 pretrial was set for Jack O. Colon, 60, Longs Crossing Road, Leetonia. Court documents state Colon threatened to “hang” the governor, threatened members of the clerk of courts office and members of the prosecutor’s office. He also reportedly made threats about school district employees who made children wear masks.
Shane Patrone, the chief deputy clerk of courts, said Colon came to the clerks’ office attempting to file paperwork claiming treason against DeWine and became “physically upset” and agitated when those working at the office could not help him.
Patrone said he tried to explain to Colon that he needed to file a complaint of that type in U.S. District Court, not at the county level. Colon began making threatening statements and said if people there were unable to help him, he would take action himself, Patrone said.
“He said he was the only one who could do anything and he was going to have to take matters into his own hands,” Patrone said.
He reportedly began naming the local schools where he would go to stop them from harming children by making them wear masks and shoved the paperwork he had brought under the window at the county prosecutor’s office.
Patrone said Colon was not in a normal state of mind and he hopes he is able to get an evaluation. The staff is familiar with him as he has been coming to the courthouse more often, sometimes weekly, since the recent presidential election, although he had been there a couple times a year before that.
County Sheriff Brian McLaughlin said his office was notified Colon had just left the courthouse and had been making threats upstairs in the clerk of courts offices. A warrant was issued and Colon was arrested a couple hours later.
His bond was set at $15,000 and he was ordered to have no further contact with the clerk of courts office at Common Pleas Court.
Leetonia Police Chief Allen Haueter informed the sheriff’s office about an email the Leetonia High School principal had received, which Colon had reportedly sent. In it he reportedly claimed to be a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia organization. The email included threats toward DeWine, threatening to execute the governor by hanging him for cruel or inhumane treatment. Additional threats in the email were made against the state health director for a felony violation of oath of office and many more crimes. Colon also allegedly mentioned Columbiana County judges and other office holders.
Colon had been to the Leetonia schools the day before, but it had not been reported at the time, according to McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said Friday he was not aware of any other schools Colon had recently visited. McLaughlin said his office has also forwarded the case information to the state highway patrol, which may consider additional charges for Colon’s statements regarding trying DeWine for treason and hanging him.