Council member among those served outstanding warrants

EAST LIVERPOOL – Joining forces Tuesday, police officers from the city, Liverpool and St. Clair townships and East Liverpool Municipal Court’s probation department served several outstanding warrants on individuals wanted for a variety of infractions, including a city council member.

City police Chief John Lane said warrants and summonses were served by officers working overtime from each of the departments, with probation officers from the court also assisting. Each police department will pay its own officers’ overtime, and in the case of his department, Lane said, revenue realized from traffic cam enforcement will be used to pay the cost of bringing these scofflaws in.

The warrant team went to the last known addresses throughout the city and townships for those named in the outstanding warrants, which ran the gamut from public indecency, domestic violence, and possession of drug instruments to criminal mischief, OVI and theft.

Those taken to county jail after initial court hearings as a result of the warrants were Carl E. Owens Sr.,59, West Ninth Street; Matthew Masters, 25, Price Street; Kristy L. Steed, 46, West Fourth Street; Michael S. Labi, 25, Ohio Avenue; and Angel D. Hartley (Bragg), 44, Palissey Street; with Erin R. Merriman, 36, Broadway, Wellsville, also taken to jail, although she did not appear in court due to being apprehended later in the day.

Lane said they all were wanted for probation violations, whereas in the case of East Liverpool city Councilman Brian E. Kerr, Hill Boulevard, officers served him a summons on an outstanding zoning violation issued in June 2013 by city Planning Director Bill Cowan.

Kerr’s case has been placed in the inactive file for lack of prosecution, according to court records. He had an arraignment set Feb. 2 in Municipal Court on the minor misdemeanor charge.

The idea for the warrant team was coordinated with the probation department, according to Lane, who said they went through the list of outstanding warrants to begin the process of rounding them up.

Some of those for whom warrants are in place are no longer living in this area, and they were marked off the list.

The success of this initial roundup should result in future endeavors, according to Lane, who said, “This went pretty good, so we could do it once a month. As long as it’s successful, I don’t mind paying for it.”