Bell-ringer arrested on warrant outside Norwalk drug store

Deputy confiscates red kettle, its contents, the bell and tripod.
Cary Ashby
Nov 29, 2012


This charity bell-ringer will be celebrating Christmas from the Huron County Jail.

Matthew J. Cox, 29, of 14 Cortland St., was arrested on a child support-related warrant about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday as he was ringing a bell in front of Walgreens, trying to drum up money for a charity. He then was transported to jail to serve a 30-day sentence.

Huron County Sheriff's Deputy Kayla Zander made the arrest after receiving a tip that Cox was at the East League Street business. Cox's warrant was issued Oct. 18.

"She found out he was ringing for a local charity," said Sheriff Dane Howard, who complimented Zander on her professionalism in handling Cox's arrest.

A Walgreens manager who declined to be identified said she didn't know how long Cox had been ringing and didn't know anything about him.

"I've had bell-ringers for a couple weeks," the manager said.

Zander confiscated the red kettle, its contents, the bell and tripod. Howard said his office will hold onto the items until they can be returned to the charity.

"I asked the deputy how she felt about this (arrest). She was very straight-forward. She said she had a job to do and she was there to do it," Howard said.

"She said if she put the charity in a bind, she'd gladly come out and ring the bell," the sheriff added.

Zander is assigned to serving warrants issued through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA).

"She's assigned to the CSEA program ... and serves warrants on individuals who have failed to pay their child support," Howard said.

"These are (for) chronic abusers of that system -- not just people who have missed some payments. ... This is a very serious matter."

About Wednesday's arrest, Howard said this is an example where deputies can't be influenced by their belief systems. He also said the bell-ringing incident reminds him of an incident years ago when a Richland County-area officer arrested a man dressed as Santa Claus and charged him with driving under the influence.

"Often times deputies are put into difficult situations," the sheriff said.


Sitting In The ...

Not to mention you don't have time to investigate your own department but you have enough manpower to arrest a guy ringing a bell for charity.

Sitting In The ...

Think I could talk the Reflector into to doing a poll with " Do you believe the Sheriff will return the money" as the question?.

hor mone

I cain't ring.


Did you ever think this guy mite not have a job or can,t get one.He dose a good thing by standing in the cold to ring a bell for the good of others.Yes he owes money to his kids. So do alot of dads out there.I bet most of you couldn't take the time to to ring the bell or even but money in it.And yes he gets behind on his payments again.And most likely will have to go to jail again.I have a good job and I pay my payments,and on a good week I get to live on 75 bucks. I support my kids they get 271 bucks a week.And there are times I am lucky to do that. So take a look at your life,is it all warm and fuzzy.I'm sure his is not! Oh and have a Merry Christmas!


I agree with "Sitting In The.." When they say- What a great idea have members of the Huron County Sheriff's Office ring bells for charity on their own time. You might even see it as a way for your deputies to interact with members of the community without having to arrest any of them. Also as carlumbonnie said maybe the guy can't find a job and he was good enough to volunteer to ring the bell.


One thing not stated in this story is the fact, Mr Cox had Contacted LE and CSEA and informed them his where abouts (BIG TIP) Due to his size (Medical reasons) most employers wont give him a second look. With Mr. Cox not being a flight risk. Could this situation have been handled a little more appropriately or was is the need to grab some headlines. NOTE: Are there any employers out there that will help this man out and offer him a job!!

Another great job by the norwalk reflector.

Lillie Chaos

No winners here. This has become an embarrassing situation for all concerned. A prime example of a two sided story. Those of us who have been blessed with the ability to survive on our own, do understand the need for tolerance and understanding. This poor man needs a job and the deputy was just trying to do her job. I doubt she made the decision to make the arrest at that time on her own. The Reflector was doing it's job by reporting the news -- is this the most news worthy event in Huron County? They have to work with what they have available.


grandpa4life - I'm not sure what the Reflector has to do with this person being arrested. Perhaps you could explain.


How about making those that have been living off of the government year after year ring the bells and give back a little bit? Oh wait, that would involve getting off the couch and not being able to watch TV all day and text on their Obama phone. Ehhhh scratch that idea.


I think the whole child support system is screwed up. I think the people who work in child support are the rudist and most unfriendly people working in our local government. I think their supervisors just do and say whatever they want too without fear of reprocussions. Do i think this man should be in trouble for not paying? YES. Do i think he should have been arrested while working for a charity? NO. Do i think someone should spend 30 days in jail for not being able to pay his support? HECK NO. NOt unless he is a chronic NO PAYER. But those idiots working in that office will take money out of your bank account, suspend your license, put leans on your homes if you miss a couple of payments. So now if this man did have a job, he no longer does after being arrested and having to serve 30 days in jail. And the way the child support formula works he's probably having to pay an amount so high he can't even afford to live himself. If i was rich and had an unlimited amount of money i would hire the best lawyer i could to challenge the WHOLE child support system in Ohio. The system sucks and the people who run the system at HCJFS (child support) just do whatever they want anyway.


I find some of your points of reference to be unbelievable. When a family member called to say her child support was late most of the time but made up in a different month she was told to QUIT complaining she was at least gettin some support, just late, better than none. She would go 2-3 months with nothing then a payment, 2-3 months with nothing then a payment. So your statement about taking money out of an account, or suspending your license for missing some payments seems a bit untrue. BUT I will agree that the WHOLE systems is completely out of control and unchecked. It needs a complete overhaul.


So what are you saying??.. No repercussions for NOT taking care of your children? I, maybe like the HCJFS might just be tired of others feeling like the government, thru legislation, confiscate part of my (and others) hard labor (wages), to pay for a NON responsible person?? am i hearing you right? So?? citizen4change? How much of my labor should be TAKEN to pay for another man's child? When can i expect a refund? Basically that means less for mine??? Is that fair?? But seriously, HOW MUCH $ am i and others expected to give?? In the name of humanity.. What is another person, who can NOT care for themselves yet "choose" to bring another life into the world, and does NOT feel like taking care of there own responsibilities, HOW much are they WORTH? Put a number on it. How much am i and others expected to give with absolutely NO say so in there behavior? Can you tell i am SICK of others probably just like you who feel there mere existence should be enough to get a free pass.


im glad everyone on here knows his story and situation to judge him on ,id hate to find out hes a good person that hit a bad time from a lets just say local job cuts or something like that couldnt make his payments ,cause lets face it good people dont lose thier jobs or have hard times that only happens to losers and criminals and druggies right? it floors me how quick people can pass jugdement without facts,makes me feel that norwalk might not be a nice place to live unless you are a perfect person who doesnt make mistakes,ill be sure to be really good so i dont be judged upon , and if i miss a child support payment ill be sure to move away so people dont have to waste their time picking me apart, because lets face it you all better than the losers , the hardened criminals ,and druggies

Lillie Chaos


We have the wise crackers and superior attitudes BUT most people in our community do have compassion and understanding for people facing difficult times. I sincerely think most people in our community do not judge this man harshly because they have not walked in his shoes. Most of us don't think we are superior....we all make different choices and have different opinions. On the whole this is a kind hearted community. NO ONE is perfect.


Humm 301 can take is place as the bell ringer @ Walgreens. 301 is well qualify characteristic as Santa, a good jolly ol' boy Ho Ho Ho


Listen, to all you people sitting there judging this man , yea OK he didn't pay his child support, but is that anyone's business or place to judge him . He's the one who has to live with his choices he chose in life . not you ! Instead of judging and worrying about what he has done wrong or when he arrested doing something good to help the needy .Ask yourself is it right , for everyone to be so judgmental, that's what's wrong with this town .Everyone judges everyone instead of thinking how can I help out with our town.