Erie County Deputies in standoff with Vermilion Township man after 911 call

By: Melanie Williamson

On Wednesday, July 19, Erie County Deputies Chad Henderson, Tiffany Soboslay, and Daniel McGlothlin responded to 8111 Barnes Road along with North Central EMS and the Vermilion Township Fire Department.

North Central EMS received a call from a male at the residence for a female who he alleged had fallen down two flights of stairs. According to the report, NCEMS contacted the sheriff’s department and reported that while on the phone, the male caller set the phone down and could be heard making threatening remarks about shooting someone.

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Record upon arriving at the residence, Deputy Henderson reported that he attempted to make contact by giving loud verbal commands from his cruiser, which was parked in the road. After receiving no response, McGlothlin and Henderson walked around to the back of the house still unable to make contact with anyone inside.

Finally, when walking back to the front of the property, a man identified as John Friel Jr., came out the front door yelling at the deputies to get off his property.  McGlothlin reported that they attempted to speak to him, but Friel went back into the house and reemerged holding a dark-colored handgun.

McGlothlin reported that Friel appeared to be very agitated at this point and started making specific threats to shoot and kill them if they did not get off his property. Friel also asserted that his wife needed medical attention, but that he would only let the EMS personnel in.

McGlothlin reported that he tried several times to negotiate with Friel, but was unsuccessful. Deputies heard Friel talk about his military experience and the number of people he killed during Vietnam. It was reported that he also talked about how easy it would be to kill the deputies. During this time, Friel went in and out of his house several times still carrying the handgun at his side.

After some time, Friel came out of his house with a long gun pointing down at his side and told deputies that he had a gun positioned at every window, and if they came on his property, he would kill them. At that point, McGlothlin reported that he repositioned himself behind his cruiser and could see Friel standing inside the front door with the long gun pointed at him.

According to the sheriff’s report, after a short time, Friel came out of the house again yelling that he no longer had the gun and started walking towards his truck. The deputies commanded him to stop and raise his hands, which he refused to do. While attempting to leave, Deputy Henderson incapacitated Friel with his Taser long enough that they were able to get him out of the truck, on the ground, and handcuffed. The entire standoff lasted approximately 15 minutes.

The paramedics checked on Friel while the deputies went into the house. Upon entering the house, the deputies reported hearing a faint voice coming from the living room, which is where they found Friel’s wife, Charlyn, on the floor bleeding. The deputies then performed a protective sweep of the house and brought the paramedics in. John Friel was transported to the jail and Charlyn Friel was taken from the scene by a medical helicopter.

Friel will be arraigned through the Vermilion Municipal Court. The date and time of his court date is currently pending. Since the incident, John Friel has been moved to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo and will stay there until cleared by doctors.

He is being charged with three counts of felonious assault, which are first-degree felonies. He is also being charged with retaliation for threatening the deputy, which is a third-degree felony, and a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.



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