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

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.
bigjoe
Oct 11, 2010

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.

 

Comments

HolmesSPH

I've known the Saunders for 15 years, and Pat is no more of a threat than a gerbil with a knife. What' an INCREDIBLE waste of tax payer money and court time and resources..

Should have been carrying the gun with a permit though, not smart, and not a good example to the students he used to teach

AlterEgo

I've known Pat for many years too, and his views and attitude have changed and become more and more extreme over the years. I used to think it was funy, now I just think it is sad.

This is the type of situation you hear about all of the time, had he not been caught we might have had a headline like "Former Political Chariman Guns Down College Dean with .38 Caliber"

There are many local people over the years that had they only been caught ahead of time tragedies would not have been committed, Jamie Young and Steven Rodvold are two that come to mind quickly.

ModernDayBootlegger

I USED to BE somebody.

GladToBeOutOfTown

He may seem harmless to some. But Thats not the issue. if he broke the law then he should be punished. But Left wing hacks like Saunders always want to take away the rights of other people, such as the right to keep and bare arms. But they seem to think they are exempt. Sounds elitest to me.
And what is the crap about "Do you know who I am?' comment. Some of us know exactly who you are Saunders. Must be part of the "good ole boys club" of left wing comunists. An 11 inch knife on his belt riding a Harley, gun in the saddle bag. Arrested for waving a knife around. Tough guy wanna-be. Now it just seems to me people who think like him , and guys like this Holmes SPH that defend him are more dangerous
than any gun or knife. INCREDIIBLE waste of tax-payer money. I don't think so.

rogerthat

I'm glad you're out of town, too.

Sassy

Lol @ rogerthat!

Who you voting ...

Good luck Pat!

bigwinner

This guy is really a (.Y.)

stormy

Copped an attitude. That explains why the county mountie sent for the dog.

bigwinner

Sheriff car did a u-turn and parked at the peek-in-house, I wasn't going to try to tell him anything,
He knows the law better than me that was really close to 7:00 P.M. 10/02/2010

redwhiteblue

Here is another example of someone that cannot obey the law, if he wants to carry a concealed weapon then he needs to do what every other person does get a permit to carry the weapon.

There is a good chance that that particular individual has a record of some kind that would prevent him from getting a CCW.

Probably if the individual would have been courteous to the police officer, it probably would've been discretionary as far as the officer was concerned, more than likely no citation would've been issued.

There are way too many people that are breaking the law for that individual to the arrest, and from my observation of him I too would probably would have arrested him if nothing else just plain attitude and the fact that he did violate the law.

iamrevolutionary

Is that OFFICER ACTUALLY CHEWING GUM?!?! In COURT?! WOW......

ragtop66

Why should he be exempt?.......just because his name is Patrick Saunders?

6079 Smith W

Riding around on a bike with two knives, a loaded .38 and a box of ammo? Yea that reads like the beginning of a story with a happy ending. I don't care if he used to be the Grand Wazoo of Standardsburg, give this guy a psych evaluation. Good job Deputy!

swiss family

sorry "gladtobeoutoftown" but if you are going to quote what someone says, you would do well to actually copy down word for word what they did actually say..........he in fact said.. if you are going by facts... which would probably be the best source.. he gave his name, and said that "you should know who I am"... that is very different than the expressive "don't you know who I am "comment that you fabricated..

the difference being.. "don't you know who I am" implies that they are some big shot or celebrity who should be above the law.... whereas.. "you should know who I am" implies that in a small town, and a rural setting.. we usually know the locals who are in the newspaper repeatedly for some reason or another... he has been in there for being the leader of the Democratic party, and for being outspoken on issues, and for various articles he has written in the newspaper, and for just being in the paper for a charity bike ride... that is why he is saying that "you should know him.....sorry to mess up your smear campaign with actual facts...

GladToBeOutOfTown

Hey Swiss Splitting hairs aren't we? So I messed up a quote. I would interpit ether statment as
meaning the same thing. I think the readers understand the point I am making.
And smearing? Saunders is doing a fine job without me.

BRIARS BYWATER

Did you all miss the part about the dog indicating on narcotics? I'm not a pharmasists "forgive my spelling", but is blood pressure medicine a narcotic? Seems like Alton missed that one too? I don't care about Saunder's political affilliation; no one can open the saddlebag from the driver's position to unlock the bag with a key, while sitting on the bike. I've tried to put a pair of gloves away while stopped at a stop sign in the country. Couldn't do it. I had to kick the stand out, and get off the bike. A bike with hard saddlebags like the one's on Saunder's bike. Yes, I've seen him on his bike. No I didn't see a knife. Carrying a loaded concealed handgun is a violation of the law, however, the gun was locked properly, "except for the ammo". Again, unaccessible from the driver's seat. But the real question that got this whole thing started was the indication by the "narcotics-trained search dog". What exactly did the dog indicate on to warrant the continuation of the search? If blood pressure medicine is a narcotic, wouldn't that disqualify someone from being able to operate a motor vehicle? Alton should look into the question of a drug indicating dog as a general tool for everyday traffic stops. Loaded gun or something else, haven't we lost enough of our rights? By using that dog as a tool during traffic stops, we all lose. Especially if it indicates on blood pressure medication, women's panties, or peanutbutter/jelly sandwiches.

sunshine 0604

Carrying a concealed weapon is illegal, whether in a saddle bag or on your hip. Saunders had the gun and even though he was unable to reach it and use it while on his bike doesnt nessecarily mean there werent intentions once he was off the bike. I dont care if the gun was locked "properly" or not...he still at it on him while going for a joy ride around town. I see your point about the utilizing the K-9 on every stop BUT.....I disagree. These dogs are used to protect not only the officers but fellow citizens. Getting stopped for a minor issue and having the dog search your car doesnt mean you have "lost". If you are hiding nothing you drive away with a warning or a fine(which sucks but a lot better than jail time). These "narcotics-trained search dogs" hit on several different items. If they smell something it doesnt nessecarily mean you are a criminal it means further searching is to come. The dog hit on blood pressure meds....ok no biggy....continue seach, which led to the firearm........ding ding ding.......this is the winner. If that firearm would not have been in Saunders possesion he probably wouldnt have lost so bad. The blood pressure meds should not bring you to the conclusion we have all lost our rights. As long as you dont hide anything....Im pretty sure your pb/j sandwiches and panties are ok.

BRIARS BYWATER

First of all, Saunders was not pulled over. He parked in a space across from Berry's Restaurant. The officer passed by him, and turned around and parked on the restaurant side of the street. Saunders was on foot. This is not in my opinion a traffic stop. The officer never indicated that he turned his overhead lights on when he followed Saunders around the corner, after the traffic light changed. His opportunity to make the traffic stop was over. Improper use of a traffic indicator should be a moving violation. Mr. Saunders was not stopped by the officer on the street. He was parked, and attempting to cross the street when the officer approached him. As far as I understand? He never had a concealed weapon if the officer saw it while Saunders was sitting at the red light. A knife is not illegal if it is sheathed in plain view with a blade no longer than 5"inches. The total length of the knife could be 11 inches, but the blade, only 5 inches. As far as the dog goes.... the officer could have probable cause to search just by giving the dog a command to indicate. How do we know? I don't trust any cops. It's obvious that they are as capable of breaking the same laws they are sworn to uphold. They're rapists, murderers, and child molesters. Saunders is being charged with improperly storing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. He was initially pulled over for "supposedly not using a turn indicator", at which time the officer noticed a knife located behind him. Pretty simple traffic stop. Give warning on the traffic signal, and ask Mr. Saunders to put the knife away, and not carry it again? As far as the loaded 38 goes; he is in violation for carrying it in a motor vehicle. Properly he would have to unload the weapon and store the ammo in one saddlebag, and the gun in the other. They have to be separate from each other. He'll get his due punishment, and all of us will learn from his "mistake". We all make them. No one got hurt. It's obvious that he was planning to do some target shooting at his son's home in the Huron area. He wasn't out to kill anyone. But it was a mistake, and he'll pay for it.

sunshine 0604

Saunders deserved to get caught and I think maybe that was his intention. An 11inch knife sticking out of your pocket! That to show off and give a message. He keeps raising the point that we should all know who he is and maybe it dawned on him that not everyone in the town of norwalk knows his name. So Mr. Saunders, everyone in the town of Norwalk that gossips now knows your name!
I gotta comment on IAMREVOLUTIONARY: you really pointed out that the deputy was chewing gum???? Cmon...next its going to be his posture, finger-twitching, or prepositions. It amazes me that something so minor deserves a comment.
I give a huge thank you to this deputy for keeping his eyes out and showing this guy no matter who you are the law is the law!

firelands1969

Let's see an officer of the law my pull me over any day of the week or even stop by my home with a dog or not search my person, property, and home. If your not breaking the law you have nothing to hide, simple. I don't care who he is if he wants to carry get your ccw it's not that hard.

Watchdog One

Mr. Saunders would be far ahead of the game if he plead guilty to these charges. He would save the taxpayers and himself a lot of money. Part of his guilty plea should be getting him some help. Our city cannot tolerate people going around with illegal knifes and a illegal loaded handgun. I watched the video of the Norwalk Muncipal Court hearing on these matter(Thanks to the Norwalk Reflector) 3 times and if I was a juror when this goes to court, I am totally sure he is guilty.The facts are the facts. Judge Ridge did a good job sending this case to the Common Pleas Court. In light of his other charges in Huron for threatening to harm or kill school officials.The headlines are full of this type of behavior that end so sadly with people killed. Many citizens of our city have gone to jail for these same charges.
Mr Saunders should be no exception.

Much thanks to officer and Norwalk officials for doing a good job.

gutlessly anonymous

I am no Pat Saunders fan and what he did was incredibly stupid, but......the officer said the dog hit on narcotics yet the medicine, if he is to be believed, was high blood pressure medicine, not a narcotic. If that's the case there may be a problem with the search. The knife on his belt was obviously not concealed because the officer saw it....no violation.

Did Pat have a concealed weapon (gun) yes.....was it properly seized according to the law....I don't think so. This will be interesting and should be a valuable learning experience for everyone.