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Norwalk cops cleared of wrongdoing in complaint

Scott Seitz • May 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Two Norwalk police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing after a recent incident at the Rustic Hills mobile home park.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler reviewed the menacing and unlawful constraint complaint filed against Norwalk Police Sgts. Jim Fulton and Seth Fry involving the April 9 situation at the Rustic Hills mobile home park just outside the city limits.

Fry and Fulton, who were working a case in that area, had their unmarked police vehicle backed into by Jessica Rothgeb, who was found to be driving under suspension.

Rothgeb had claimed unlawful restraint at the hands of the Norwalk police because she wasn't immediately able to retrieve her children from the bus stop.

Rothgeb was recently found guilty of driving under suspension in that incident.

"Ms. Rothgeb claims some sort of illegal restraint at the hands of the Norwalk police," Leffler wrote in his legal opinion.

"Whenever one is involved in an automobile accident, one must remain at the scene of the accident," Leffler added. "Of course, in the context of retrieving her children her concern to get them is understandable."

Leffler wrote the only charge warranted in this situation was the driving under suspension which Huron County Sheriff's Detective Eric Bardar issued to Rothgeb upon his responding to the accident.

Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light was happy to see the issue resolved.

"Jim and Seth were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing," Light said.

"They got hit just like any other motorist," the chief added.

"They did let her walk down and get her children," Light said. "These were very serious allegations made. I think Russ Leffler made the appropriate decision."

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