Norwalk man pleads innocent to blackmailing employer

Cary Ashby • Oct 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Norwalk resident Jeremiah J. Weitzel, 28, of 239 E. Main St., pleaded innocent Monday in Huron County Common Pleas Court to extortion in connection with a May 29 incident.

The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested him at gunpoint at Veterans Memorial Lake Park.

"The (Norwalk) business owner said an employee was attempting to extort money from him and made alleged threats toward him," Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said after Weitzel was arrested. "The employee requested $2,500 to not carry out these threats."

Detectives Kayla Zander and Sgt. Josh Querin, who were assigned to the case, set up an "exchange" at the reservoir. Patrick said the suspect wasn't armed when he was arrested.

Weitzel, who earlier posted a $10,000 bond, is prohibited from having any association with the suspected victim. If convicted of the third-degree felony, he faces nine months to three years in prison.

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