St. Paul coach one of 12 busted for drinking at city park

St. Paul High School head football coach John L. Livengood was one of 12 people cited by Norwalk police Wednesday evening for alcohol-related offenses at Baines Park. The following people, whose addresses were not available, were issued misdemeanor citations for possessing or consuming an open container of beer or intoxicating liquor on city property: John L. Livengood, 41; Lawrence A. Fisher, 35; Emily J. Mira, 34; Jason T. Green, 26; Susan M. Caprara, 43; Anthony P. Caprara, 44; Bradley T. Clark, 25; Christopher N. Harkness, 40; Juliana M. Mapus, 24; Robert C. Wilkerson, 38; Kevin M. Hay, 29; and Steven C. Popke, 30.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

St. Paul High School head football coach John L. Livengood was one of 12 people cited by Norwalk police Wednesday evening for alcohol-related offenses at Baines Park.

The following people, whose addresses were not available, were issued misdemeanor citations for possessing or consuming an open container of beer or intoxicating liquor on city property: John L. Livengood, 41; Lawrence A. Fisher, 35; Emily J. Mira, 34; Jason T. Green, 26; Susan M. Caprara, 43; Anthony P. Caprara, 44; Bradley T. Clark, 25; Christopher N. Harkness, 40; Juliana M. Mapus, 24; Robert C. Wilkerson, 38; Kevin M. Hay, 29; and Steven C. Popke, 30.

"One of the things that have occurred through all the discussion of drinking in public parks is that drinking goes on after ball games at Baines Park," Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said today, adding officers normally patrol there and have issued verbal warnings.

Drinking in public places has been a hot topic in city this summer, ever since Berry's Restaurant sought permission to serve alcohol in Bresson Park. Granting that request would have required the city change the city's ordinance to allow alcohol on public property under certain conditions. After much public outcry, the issue was defeated.

Cashen said city Park and Recreation Department staff have picked up empty cans on the hillside at Baines. "After talking with park and recreation, we decided to take a look and see what is going on," the chief added.

The citations issued Wednesday involve minor misdemeanor offenses carrying fines only, no jail time.

Livengood, who was at football practice today, could not be reached for comment, nor could Walt Klimaski, Norwalk Catholic School president.

One of the suspects cited Wednesday was Harkness, a Huron County probation officer from 1997 to 2004.

About 2004, investigators found no evidence that Harkness was involved in the misappropriation of $15,000 from the probation department, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. The prosecutor noted that Harkness may have been lax in supervising his secretary, who was later convicted of the crime.

Melinda "Mindy" S. Knoll, 43, of North Fairfield, was sentenced Oct. 9, 2005 to three years of probation for attempted tampering with evidence in the 2004 case.

"Everybody liked him," Leffler said about Harkness. "He was a football player. He tried out for the Bengals. He had a lot going for him."

Comments

really though (...

How about those awesome cops. You cant do anything in this city anymore. Livengood is one of the best coaches out there, god forbid he has a beer, seriously.

Former Student ...

I was in trouble for drinking once in high school. Mr. Livengood ripped me! But you know what, I respected him for it. He does his job well. The students do look up to him and will continue to look up to him. He is human, not god! I don't think John will loose any respect from the students, just some of the parents who think they're better than everybody else.

Fed up with the...

The Norwalk Reflector continues to make Norwalk the laughing stock of North Central Ohio. This paper is such a joke. Most call it the Nortucky Rejector.

Mayor Lesch to ...

Mayor Lesch ordered the bust at Baines Park. She freely admits she does not like sports.

mad as hell (An...

well the COPS CAN KISS MY A$$! I DON'T AND I WON'T CALL ON THEM. WHEN I HAVE A PROBLEM I WOULD RATHER HANDLE IT MYSELF THAN TO DEPEND ON THEM FOR ANYTHING. THEY ARE A JOKE THEY RIDE AROUND AND FIND THINGS TO DO, THEY DON'T HAVE THINGS TO DO, BUT WAIT I FORGOT THEY GO BAINES IN PLAIN CLOTHES TO BUST 12 PEOPLE DRINKING BEER WHAT ABOUT THE 12 PEOPLE THAT ARE OUT THERE SELLING AND DOING DRUGS THE 12 PEOPLE WHO OUTSIDE THE BARS ACTING LIKE DONKEYS' THE 12 PEOPLE WHO WALK AROUND TOWN DRUNK? GET A LIFE. REALLY. WHY DID THEY COME IN PLAIN CLOTHES? HUMMMM MAKES YOU WONDER... GREAT JOB NPD KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK!

Carol (Anonymous)

to Retired Cop: AMEN!! And thank you for your past service to the community. You put your life on the line everytime you pinned that badge on your chest. It is very much appreciated by this poster and her family.

HANK (Anonymous)

to mad as hell - and I bet you're a fine citizen of this town, aren't you? How many times has your butt been thrown in jail????

jjjjdjdjdjdj (A...

To mad as hell, why did the cops come in plain clothes Hmm maybe to see if anyone was drinking at the park as reported, doubtful anyone other than oh...you for instance would drink in front of a cop in uniform. The tickets were written to discourage the behavior in the future. If they didn't have to investigate complaints of drinking in public parks maybe they would have more time to devote to the other things you were talking about...Hmmm. If someone complains to the police about public drinking...what should they do? Mad as hell please give us all some guidance.

MAD AS HELL (An...

MR. HANK I HAVE NEVER BEEN THROWN IN JAIL. BUT THANKS FOR THE CONCERN AND IF I AM EVER THROWN IN JAIL WILL YOU BE THERE TO BAIL ME OUT? MAYBE I SHOULD GO DOWN TO BAINES TONIGHT AND WATCH THOSE FINE MEN PLAY BALL,DRINK SOME BEER AND MAYBE RAISE SOME HELL! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE TO JOIN ME MR. HANKIE

Golfer (Anonymous)

Wasn't sure if I was going to play softball next summer or golf. Think I'll golf, you're allowed to drink beer AND drive a golf cart. Wonder if there will be undercover "finest of police officers" hiding out in unmarked golf carts parked in the woods. I really don't understand why NPD had to be so undercover. All you have to do is drive to the top of the hill and say..."had some complaints, this is your warning, spread the word. Next time is a ticket!" And I would have said, fine cool thanks cop. And the next time, they could pass out tickets. Just think the way they approached this situation was pretty crappy.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

These pople broke the law and know it. Alcohol is not allowed in city parks period. Everyone that plays down there knows it. They know they shouldn't be doing it and they got caught. No big deal. I supported changing the ordinance for Berry's to serve alcohol in the park but this is a different situation completely. The Norwalk Police were just doing their job by writing the citations. Had this not been a hot topic over the last few months these people would probably have been warned, as others who have been caught down there in the past would have recieved. Don't complain about them being in plain clothes, it doesn't matter they were still wrong in drinking in public.

get over it (An...

Mr. Livengood was caught with an open container. He is over 21. He wasn't drunk and out of control. Get over it...he is human just like everyone else in this story. While you're digging into everyone's closets for skeletons perhaps you should start with your mayor that is mentioned in this story. She's not perfect either. If my memory serves me correct...JESUS is the only perfect one.

ed (Anonymous)

If you get caught speeding and dont see the cop doesn't mean you weren't speeding. If your drinking in public and don't know th guy next to you is a cop doesn't mean you weren't drinking in public. To golfer technically it is illegal to drive a golf cart while drinking too. Sandusky PD arrested a guy several years ago for that. Tickets have been issued before and warnings have been given. Everyone knows you can't drink there. If you drink anyway don't blame the cops.

ehlo (Anonymous)

Did anyone at this paper actually take a journalism class. Is it really necessary to mentioned the alleged criminal past of someone when it has nothing to do with the news article. This is why I do not pay for a subscription to this rag. Shame on you reflector. If business is this bad maybe you should just go all the way and start reporting on flying saucers and elvis

REJECT-or (Anon...

Why does the Rejector publish all the names of the individuals who were ticketed, but not the names of the undercover "super-cops" who made the bust?

Hank (Anonymous)

A law is a law....the P.D. did exactly what they should of done when a complaint is recieved. If you don't like the law, write your law makers. Don't blame the police who were doing what we pay them to do.

You're a Dummy ...

If people didn't see this coming then shame on them. Countless articles have been written in the Reflector, Register and Journal about drinking in City Parks. Did people think it was okay since they were just playing softball?? For the MORONS who think there are better things for the COPS to do then give them some suggestions! I think the Norwalk Police are aggressive when it comes to drugs. I am a close freind of a detective who is always working on drug cases. If this was an article about the police busting a "pot dealer" then the MORONS of Norwalk would be asking why they aren't getting heroin addicts or crack heads. They can't win with the idiots that live in this town. No matter what they do it affects someone who knows someone and you people always want more!! They did their jobs and they do a fine job!!!! I never see comments when the Norwalk Municipal COurt convictions are listed or when several people are indicted. The Norwalk Police Department is still working with the same staffing as they had 10 years ago. When is the administration going to wake up and give Chief Cashen more people so this can be a common thing instead of a once in a while bust. Chief Cashen, my hat goes off to you and your people!!!

ehlo (Anonymous)

the police are not the issue here. it is this sorry excuse for a newspaper. the police did there jobs. how many times are people who get open container violations listed on the front page of the paper.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

The newspaper did do a bad job by bringing up the Harkness past info. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and it shouldn't even have been part of the article, but they do have column-inches to fill.

ehlo (Anonymous)

column issue to fill? that is no excuse for bad journalism. if you are a reporter or especially an editor (ahem, JOE) you have to decide what is fit to print. i hope the reporter and editor realize that by printing this story, they put people's livelyhoods on the line. This is not a joke. The Reflector should be embarassed of this kind of sensationalist reporting.

Ron S (Anonymous)

A newspapers job is to report news and sell newspapers. Someone in the public eye will be much more scrutinized than a John Doe who was found drinking in a public park. If it was the mayor or a councilman, you had better believe it will be on the front page of the newspaper. When you are in the public eye, you have to be found more accountable for your actions. Thats the way it is and will always be.

ehlo (Anonymous)

i don't think chris harkness is in the public eye, do you?

Ron S (Anonymous)

Chris Harkness has been a well respected name in Norwalk for numerous years.

ehlo (Anonymous)

so is it necessary to bring up something that he was accussed of and cleared from??

Ron S (Anonymous)

I have no comment on that. I was only remarking about being in the public eye and being held accountable for your actions if you are in that position. Maybe someone else wants to comment on your remarks?

Right (Anonymous)

St. Paul's likes their football program far too much to put John's livelihood on the line. I'm sure they'll turn a blind eye to this.

stop printing g...

And why does Mr Livengoods open container charge have anything to do with St Pauls football?? And what does Mr Harkness case in 2004 have to do with 2007??? NOTHING!!!!!Their not GODS their humans. Its ashame the reflectors has to print trash on the front page. It may be news,but print it were it belongs.Leave the front page for the REAL NEWS!!! John is a good role model he just proved anyone can use bad judgement.EVEN a COACH.KIDS WILL respect the fact that no one is perfect, everyone make mistakes Kids, police officers, parents,.....who are we to JUDGE!!!!!

adult over 50 (...

I can not believe that the newspaper has nothing better to write about. So what if those 12 people were drinking. Were they drunk? Did someone sell beer to them in the park? It seems that Berry's has managed to destroy things in this town that effects many citizens. (Strawberry Festival, Now innocent drinking after softball games) The deal with Berrys and the park are 2 different issues. Berrys wanted to sell beer. A liquor license is issued to a specfic address and can not be moved to another address next door or across the street. Especially since they don't own the property. If somone would have done their home work this Berrys issue would have not have caused all this trouble. It is ashame that this town has nothing better to do then bust outstanding adults not hurting anyone or anything. You know I have been to festivals and other town functions, bars, restaurants and have seen judges, lawyers, doctors police, editors of newspapers, city fore fathers consuming a drink. In fact have seen some drinking where they shouldn't be. Maybe we should all start caring a camera around and submit to the reflector these pictures because these could be potential crimnals. My point is No One in this town is perfect so get off this band wagon because Berrys is pouting. Lets attend to more important issues in this town. Yes the police were doing their job but someone pushed that button after all these years.

Right (Anonymous)

I guess maybe I just have higher standards for my children's role models. I was only making the point that he's going to pay a minimal fine and this whole incident is going to be swept under the carpet. No worries folks!

former student/...

Anyone that knows John Livengood, knows the high level of integrity and discpline with which he runs his program and his life. Those that know and respected him before today, will with out question continue to do so because of his past and his high character; NOT because of a 5 minute-1/2 a beer incident after a MENS softball game. Unfortunately, those who didn't like him (b/c of jealousy, a player/student flunky, or more probably b/c of pure ignorance of the man, the school, or the program) will use this against him. And he'll have to deal with that...which I know he will; like he taught me to.

As far as the punishment goes...if St. Paul looks at the steller track record of the past 14 years. As well as the dedication and commitment, to the school and all of the various programs (football, track, strength coach, athletic director), it should be minimal.

Thankfully for me and everybody who reads this, one mistake doesn't define a person. It's unfotunate and classless that this one had to be drug through the media!John has my support!

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