John Doe appears ready to relent on anonymity as trial date set
EAST LIVERPOOL — A man identified only as John Doe was in court again Thursday morning for his pretrial and once again declined to reveal his identity.
East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Dominic Frank cautioned Doe, who appeared in standard county orange jumpsuit alongside attorney Coleen Hall-Dailey, that he was tying the judge’s hands in regards to granting any requests for bond or a public defender .
Generally, one must prove indigency to get assigned to a public defender and without a name, the court is unable to verify his eligibility. In addition, Doe is currently held with no bond, as he would be considered a flight risk without a confirmable address to go with his real name.
The man was arrested shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday in the first block of Mapletree Street on failure to disclose one’s personal information and obstructing official business, after officers were dispatched to investigate possible drug activity near the Mainland gas station property.
Gas station employees advised that the man, who was described as a Hispanic-looking with face tattoos, made them feel uneasy and they believed that he was selling drugs.
A detective with the county Drug Task Force has a pending drug investigation on this subject, whom they know only by the street name “Fee.” That investigation has been hindered due to the unknown identity. According to the affidavit provided by city police, they found Doe sitting on the porch at 1097 Mapletree St. When the officer asked the man his name, he allegedly became argumentative and demanded to know why he was asking. When he was told that he was part of an active investigation, a woman came to the door and was identified by him as his girlfriend. She also declined to provide his identity.
An older male subject came to doorway and informed police that he did not want Doe on his porch.
“Once on station after the arrest, the man still refused to provide his identity and told officers ‘we would have to break his fingers to get fingerprints,'” the affidavit reads. When police attempted to photograph the man on the prisoner bench, he put his head down and pulled his hood over his head, drawing an obstructing charge on top of the already filed failure to disclose one’s personal information.
During Thursday morning’s court proceeding, Judge Frank assigned Doe to return for a bench trial at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 confirming that Doe would have to represent himself unless he retained legal counsel.
Doe apparently contacted the court later and another pretrial was scheduled via video technology at 9 a.m. Friday, so he could reportedly identify himself.
If convicted of these charges, the man faces up to 120 days in jail and $1000 in fines.