Suspected stalker pleads innocent

Cary Ashby • Jun 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

A Willard man entered a "not guilty" plea Monday to the allegation he threatened to shoot his estranged wife.

William A. Faulkner, 53, of 144 S. Ohio 99, appeared in Huron County Common Pleas Court for his arraignment. The defendant, who earlier posted a $15,000 bond, is charged with one count each of menacing by stalking and attempted burglary in connection with incidents between May 11 and 12.

Faulkner, who goes to trial Sept. 23, is prohibited from having any association with the victim or being on the premises of a Sycamore Drive address and Chicago Hair salon, 205 Milan Ave. in Norwalk. Judge Jim Conway reminded the defendant that the no-association order includes no contact through Facebook, email and "certainly no face-to-face interactions."

The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested Faulkner without incident the afternoon of May 12 -- hours after a manhunt that required the evacuation of nearby residents.

The situation started when the Norwalk Police Department received a call at 9:49 a.m. that Faulkner reportedly was headed for the Chicago 29 Hair salon in the Norwalk Korners Plaza.

"He was there before they opened at 8:55, pounding on the door and they obviously wouldn't let him in and he eventually left," Capt. Dave Smith said afterward. "There was also a complaint where he was trespassed from that business property stemming from April 2 of this year."

Police went to the salon Monday and had the customers leave. Then they waited there, making sure no one else entered the business. About 10 or 10:15 a.m., police requested the assistance of the sheriff's office in locating Faulkner since he lives outside Norwalk.

Faulkner apparently threatened to go the salon "with an AK-47 and shoot his wife," sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said earlier. "The Norwalk Police Department told us he said he had plenty of ammunition."

Sheriff Dane Howard has said his office "took all the precautions we could" during the manhunt, which focused on making sure everyone was as safe as possible.

For several hours, authorities closed Ohio 99 near Troy Mills Road and Ohio 99 near Bauman Road and had residents evacuate their homes near where they were searching for Faulkner. Willard Police Chief Mark Holden, several Willard officers, Willard Fire & Rescue and a Richland County tactical team responded to the scene.

Slightly after 2 p.m., deputies found Faulkner walking down North Greenfield Road, 1 to 1 1/2 miles from his home.

"He was not armed at the time," Querin said. "He appeared to be pretty intoxicated."

If convicted of attempted burglary, Faulkner faces nine months to three years in prison. Menacing by stalking is a fourth-degree felony punishable by six to 18 months.

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