no avatar

Cop: Saunders 'told me who he was and I should know him'

bigjoe • Oct 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Patrick Saunders' case in connection with improperly storing a loaded handgun in his motorcycle was bound over for Huron County Common Pleas Court following a preliminary hearing Friday morning.

Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge made the ruling.

Saunders, 62, of 2782 Laylin Road, was arrested Oct. 1 by Huron County Sheriff's Deputy Josh Querin after an incident in front of Berry's Restaurant, 15 W. Main St.

(NOTE - To see photos related to this story, click HERE.)

In court, Querin said he was behind Saunders heading north on Benedict Avenue at a red light on Main Street. Saunders turned left without using his turn signal, Querin said.

Saunders then came to an "abrupt stop" in a parking space at Main and Hester streets. Querin, who said he noticed a knife on Saunders' belt, made a quick U-turn on Main Street and approached Saunders.

"He became very defensive," Querin said. "He told me who he was and I should know him. He told me he was chairman of the Democratic Party in Huron County."

Querin said he took the 11-inch knife from Saunders for his protection, and after a search, found a switchblade in Saunders' pocket.

Querin said Saunders first told him he was going to a poker run in Sandusky.

With the use of his dog, Querin searched the bike and the dog came up with a "hit."

Inside the saddle bag Querin said he found a loaded 38-caliber revolver with four rounds, ammunition and two other knives.

Also inside the bag was prescription medicine Saunders takes for his high blood pressure.

"He was read his Miranda Rights," Querin said. "He changed his story and said he was going to shoot some rounds at his son's house in Huron."

Saunders does not have a CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) permit for the gun.

Defense attorney John Allton pressed Querin about the accessibility of the loaded gun. Would he be able to unlock his saddle bag while on the bike?

Querin said he thought the gun would be accessible if the bike was stopped, but not if he was riding at 55 mph.

Saunders did not take the stand.

Ridge ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to Huron County Common Pleas Court for a possible grand jury indictment.

"Preliminary hearings are very difficult to win so I understand the ruling," Allton said.

"We will probably be questioning the propriety of the stop, but we also question the statute he was charged under."

Also Friday, in Huron Municipal Court, Saunders pleaded not guilty to threatening the associate dean of Firelands College with a knife.

Saunders, a former part-time American culture instructor at BGSU Firelands College, faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon and aggravated menacing. He's scheduled to appear in a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 15.

"We filed paperwork so that had already been moved to the following week," Allton said about that case.

Defending the two cases at the same time will be a difficult task, Allton said, adding the two are not related.

"Bad timing, Bad luck. All of the above. Pat is no risk to anybody," Allton said. "He is not violent.

"I'm confident that Pat is not a violent person or that he intended to hurt anybody."

Could one case affect the other? "Not at a jury level," the lawyer said.

Norwalk Law Director Doug Clifford said he does not like to comment on ongoing cases.

Recommended for You

    Norwalk Reflector Videos