Columbiana officer nabs suspect in assault on Marine

COLUMBIANA – The man wanted by city police for assaulting a U.S. Marine while out on bond for a felony theft offense is back in jail.

Police Chief Tim Gladis said Wednesday Officer Rick Whitfield arrested Michael Nagel Jr., 29, Brenda Lane, following a foot chase into a wooded area.

Whitfield was on routine patrol along West Park Avenue around 11:13 a.m. when he spotted Nagel in a red Chevrolet driven by a woman. He pulled in behind the car and attempted to do a traffic stop, but the car continued toward Kelly Park Road where it stopped and Nagel jumped out, Gladis said.

At that point Whitfield got out of the police cruiser and followed him into the wooded area. He apprehended the suspect about a quarter mile deep in the woods.

Once Whitfield reached him Nagel complied with the arrest, he added.

While in custody Nagel reportedly made comments about the man he was charged with assaulting last week outside Chase Bank on North Main Street.

“The statements were along the lines of his opinion of the individual, which was not positive,” he said.

Nagel reportedly pushed Columbiana resident Tim Felt against the bank’s wall on Dec. 12 and then kicked him in the head when he fell to the ground. He eluded police at that time.

Nagel had been out on $50,000 bond for theft of city property in October.

He and Jonathan Cook were charged with stealing heavy duty cable from the electric substation on the city’s south side.

Gladis said the police department is recommending no bond for Nagel this time around.

“We are asking the prosecutor’s office to oppose any bond because he has a lengthy history going back to when he was juvenile, and violent crime. He is a danger to the community and a flight risk. He was out on bond for the previous charge when he committed assault in broad daylight on a main street in our town. That can’t stand,” he said.

The woman driving the car was identified as Nagel’s wife, Katie Beat Nagel, 26, last known address South Cross Street. She was charged with obstructing official business and taken to the county jail along with Nagel.

Gladis said a bond could be set for her since she did not flee or resist arrest.

“She stayed in the car and waited until officers were ready to deal with her. She didn’t create any problems,” he said.

The vehicle was towed from the scene.

When asked if the department received any tips of Nagel’s whereabouts, Gladis said there were none but that Whitfield was familiar with the places he frequented and was conducting patrols in those areas.

“It was just good heads-up police work,” he said.