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Local woman still picking up pieces from 'terrifying' incident

Scott Seitz2 • Apr 14, 2014 at 11:31 PM

A Willard woman still is recovering from what she described as a "terrifying" incident Oct. 31.

Mansfield resident Ronald Maddox was attempting to repossess the woman's vehicle that day from a Maple Ridge Road location when things went wrong.

Huron County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said Maddox arrived at the Maple Ridge Road residence on that October day and encountered a 51-year-old Willard woman who was there visiting her sister.

Patrick said Maddox indicated he was not receiving any cooperation from the woman when trying to seize the vehicle.

Patrick, along with deputies John Vogel and Eric Bardar responded to the scene.

"The woman disputed what Maddox was saying," Patrick said. "The woman said her husband had been making the payments and they were current on the debt.

"The woman indicated she would leave to get her husband so he could show Maddox they were current on their bill," Patrick said at the time. "The woman said Maddox was free to follow her.

"When the woman attempted to leave in the van, Maddox reportedly stopped her and started banging on the hood of the vehicle," he said. "Maddox demanded the keys and told her not to leave the property."

Patrick said things went from bad to worse after that.

"The woman then backed up the vehicle and Maddox approached at the driver's side door," Patrick said. "Maddox pulled out a handgun and told her he would 'blow her head off' if she didn't give him the keys.

"Maddox had a concealed carry permit, but that does not allow him to do that," Patrick said.

Patrick said the woman then parked the van.

"Once she parked the van, Maddox re-holstered the gun, but then began wrestling with her over the keys," he said. "She then pulls out a stun gun and fires it near his (Maddox) head, but did not make contact. She did give him the keys prior to us arriving."

Maddox was arrested and charged with assault and aggravated menacing.

"He did admit he used the handgun to try and get the keys from her while she was in the vehicle," Patrick said.

The woman was not charged.

The handgun was a semi-automatic pistol.

"Maddox did have the paperwork to repossess the van," Patrick said. "But, he certainly was in error in how he used the handgun."

Fast-forward to the present day.

Maddox was recently convicted in Norwalk Municipal Court of the assault and aggravated menacing charges stemming from that incident. He was fined and received 180 days in jail, with 80 suspended.

"I couldn't sleep for three months," the Willard woman said. "I had nightmares, playing it over and over in my mind."

The woman said she didn't know she was behind on her payments at the time because she and her husband were separating.

"I've never had anyone pull a gun on me in my life," she said.

The woman said she had surgery on her left hand as a result of the melee and also had bruises on her neck and middle of her back.

"I had bruises on both my feet from being stepped on with steel-toed boots," she said.

"I've never gone through anything like this before," the now 52-year-old said. "I never did get my keys back. I've been going to counseling since.

"The deputies, prosecutor and victim's advocate all did a really good job," the woman said. "They really helped me."

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