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Columbiana man found fit for stand trial after assault on medic

LISBON — The Columbiana man accused of assaulting a medic before jumping from the ambulance on the entrance ramp to state Route 11 and running away in the fall was found competent to stand trial.

William Swagger, 25, Park Avenue, Columbiana, is charged with assault, a fourth-degree felony, for allegedly assaulting EMT Kevin Alesi on Oct. 1, 2019.

Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam said on Thursday the court has received the findings of an evaluation by a professional at the Forensic Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio Inc., who found Swagger was not prevented from knowing the consequences of his actions and is capable of assisting in his own defense.

Defense attorney James Wise asked Washam to consider lowering Swagger’s bond from the current one of $5,000 cash or surety. Wise noted Swagger had jumped off the second tier while still at the county jail and is accused of assaulting the ambulance driver on the way to the hospital. However, Wise said Swagger also has indicated at the time all this happened he was coming down off of methamphetamines.

Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart argued Swagger was on his way to the hospital, but had another warrant waiting for him at the hospital at the time. Swagger was in the process of being released from the county jail, but arrangements were being made with Struthers police to serve Swagger in Mahoning County. Weikart also pointed out after leaving from the ambulance Swagger was on the run and found two days later in Pennsylvania.

Swagger interjected he actually turned himself in.

Washam said he would take the matter of a possible reduction in bond under advisement. Additionally, a trial date was scheduled for March 24 with Swagger scheduled to appear for another status conference on March 17.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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