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

Get Real (Anonymous)

Please....are you going to change your name from Norwalk Reflector to Norwalk Inquirer ??? There had to be better stories than that. But you DO get a lot of responses don't you....mine included.

St. Paul Gramma...

With all the heroin and suicide in this town, you would think the cops would have better things to focus their time on other then being under cover at Baines. The mayor should maybe get involved in that as well. Doug Berry has some really big shoes to fill and your grandpa and dad and uncle made Berry's what it is without selling beer ouside.
Once again shame on you Reflector for making peoples lives an object of your political B.S. and shame on you Mayor Sue for ordering your Police Force to even be part of such bureaucracy. Hmmmm Gee I have seen many people popping the top at Baines for years and years and gee I think some of them just might have been Norwalk's finest but who knows it has been so many years ago. That's how long it's been going on. Don't know what all the hub bub is now!! The Reflector is always trying to bring the good man down. Hope you and your family stay perfect Mr. Centers. Shame on you for printing this crap.

person (Anonymous)

Mr. Livengood is a good person. He is a good person and most people like him. So he got caught drink ones he is over 21. yea is is a public park but,why can't they let people drink at the top of the hill at banies park, I go to softballs games sometimes times, and I see people drink all of them over 21. Mr.Livengood is a great person he would no one under 21 drink. He is a great role model, maybe he got caught drinking he is still a great role model. He is also a great football coach. I just hope at Mr.Klimaski does not fire Mr. Livengood for one time drink. He is way way way over 21.

person (Anonymous)

Mr. Livengood is a good person. He is a good person and most people like him. So he got caught drink ones he is over 21. yea is is a public park but,why can't they let people drink at the top of the hill at banies park, I go to softballs games sometimes times, and I see people drink all of them over 21. Mr.Livengood is a great person he would no one under 21 drink. He is a great role model, maybe he got caught drinking he is still a great role model. He is also a great football coach. I just hope at Mr.Klimaski does not fire Mr. Livengood for one time drink. He is way way way over 21. I can not believe that the Norwalk does not have anything better then to write down about a St.Paul's coach drinking. There are a ton better story's out in Norwalk write about one of them, and not about someones bad time.

Roswell (Anonymous)

I'm beginning to smell a conspiracy here. Yes, the plot is obvious now. Someone (or perhaps a group of co-conspirators) convinced Mayor Lesch to do what she was elected to do and make Norwalk a safe, happy place to live. Then, the police had to be paid off to do their jobs and enforce drinking laws in public parks. But the final part - convincing the Reflector to print a story about someone who works with kids getting busted for breaking the law - pure genius.

person (Anonymous)

GET I LIFE NORWALK REFLECTOR AND GET MORE BETTER STORY'S.

MR.LIVENGOOD IS A GREAT PERSON HIS A GREAT FOOTBALL COACH AND athletic director.

WE SHOULD BE THANKING HIM FOR ALL HIS HARD WORKS AT ST. PAUL'S.

ALSO NORWALK POLICE YOU HAVE ALL OF NORWALK TO PROTECT AND SERVE NOT JUST BAINES PARK.

I feel complete...

Thank God there is no drinking at Baines now!! I considered adding a security system to my home, bars on my windows, hiring a bodyguard, and learning to be a ninja! A retired police officer commented that police cover your a$$ when it is on the line. Not quite. They RESPOND when your a$$ and the line has been stolen, beat, raped, or otherwise been violated against some well-crafted law. Police are a reactionary force, not a guardian. Check out several Federal Court rulings to that effect.

I don't know any of the people cited personally. I agree with the comment about the 'Norwalk Inquirer' completely. Mr. Harkness, try them for libel. There is a point where someone in the public sector, except for the President, becomes a private citizen as far as the news is concerned. Joe, recall the debate when former Mayor Cochran would become just a resident?

Too bad for Berry's. They got two councilmen to vote for them. They lost. Yes, Berry's can survive without having everything they want and everything they don't. They might not believe that but they can.

Chief Cashen is a decent man and an excellent leader. Police do enforce laws, such as this, when they observe infractions, are informed, or, as is much the case in Norwalk, when one of the penny-millionaires scream so much they do something to shut them up. Call it cranial burping. Someone need a pacifier now?

A side note to the Continuous Wanton Penny Millionaire...a number of the people at the park were firefighters. I think you have needed their services more recently then they have needed yours. It might take a bit longer to get the boots on next time.

Mr. Livengood, I do not think if you were in the Super Bowl with the Browns, I can not imagine Chris Berman announcing an open container charge at half time.

Overall, good story, made me laugh at first, then made me seriously ponder moving to Milan. At least they don't have a newspaper. At least I feel safer.

Another side note, don't have a coronary TJH!!! And try to calm it down to a half-dozen sports!

for shame for s...

you can argue this a couple of different ways. First and for most, for shame on the Norwalk Reflector and the editing staff for printing such garbage on the front page, and also for bringing up the past of charles harkness, who is a good man, everybody including a couple judges, lawyers, police officers and any other hard working,and honest person, makes small mistakes now and then, doesn't mean they should be in the newspaper, and I think that the Norwalk Reflector staff owes everbody that was in the article, especially Charles Harkness, an apology for acting like a redneck newspaper and printing something not newsworthy. About the comments on the Norwalk Police Department, They were just doing there job, and kudos to them, if we let everybody get away with soemthing like that there would be more chaos then the city of Norwalk could handle, then everybody would complain about the police, BUT if our taxes are going towards the parks in this city then why aren't we allowed to drink in them, our money our parks, so quit taxing my money and I will stop drinking in the parks I help pay for. I don't think there should be anything wrong with drinking in our city parks as long as you are not getting plastered and causing problems. People like to cookout and have a couple beers, and they like to play sports and have a couple beersnothing should be wrong with that.

just wonderin (...

So Mr. Centers in all the years you have played ball and your family has played ball you never drank a beer at Baines Park. How about you Al Lesch???

old softball pl...

This is the SINGLE reason that I wont pay to read the garbage that this paper publishes. John is a fine upstanding citizen & well respected coach. Was it wrong? I guess the bottom line is...yes. I guess he just didnt use good judgement or maybe he didnt hide his beer well. Too bad for John & the rest of them. As far as Harkness, why is his past published? That has nothing to do with the price of tea in China for god sake. Find something better to do in this town than go to a frigging ballpark looking for people enjoying a drink after a game. I am 50 now but I had a couple beers after EVERY game that I ever played @ Baines. I have played softball since I was 18 in the city league. I played with some girls whose father was a city cop & he came up to the hill to check on us on occasion. I guess he felt like we werent causing trouble & werent alcoholics so whats the big fricking deal? I guess the super deluxe cops of the fine NPD are truly awesome in their big drunken bust @ Baines. GOOD JOB DIC*HEADS
Hey John, Chris & the rest of you....sorry this happened. Maybe you can all come to my house so we can enjoy a cold one on a really hot day!

trouble (Anonymous)

i am not from the norwalk area so i am not familiar with your parks or their rules. does anyone think that the only reason this made front page is because MR. LIVENGOOD is a staff member at a catholic school? i believe that that is the case here. if it had been a staff member from a regular public school, would there have been such a stink made? teacher, regardless of the facility, are humans too. i see nothing wrong with a few adults having a "few" beverages in a park after a game as long as it is after a certain time of day(avoiding prime child parts of the day) as long as they remain adults while consuming and not become instant a@@holes. but , norwalk is not the only place that has those rules in their park system and i know they are not the only place that these rules get broken. yeah they did it, yeah they got caught, give them their ticket or warning and move on. why does the whole town need a public alert on who had a beer in the park!! one more thin, is this an ongoing problem in your park or has there been any major problems within the park where the cops have had to be called? if not then whats the big deal or should i say, "the BIG PICTURE"

j (Anonymous)

this is pure bs for it to be on the front page of the prestigious norwalk reflector. I played under coach livengood and he is my role model. I look up to this man as a fine coach, father, and all around citizen. And come on dont bring up harkness past. Some people should look into enjoying life a little bit and maybe tipping a few back, just to loosen up. Theres no harm in it, especially for these fine people who were worn down from a hot summer game. NPD, find something better to bust, maybe the drug problem in norwalk for instance. And Doug Berry, you are a dbag.

missing the poi...

the point is this: no drinking on city property. the drinkers on the hill were warned beforehand that the police were going to be cracking down on those drinking on the hill or in the park. why do you think i wasn't there? we now go to the closest person's home for our after the game beer. it could have been a political official, their kid, wife or husband that were caught last night. instead it was a football coach and some of his ex-players and their parents. TOO BAD!!!! you didn't follow the rules and you are getting fined, and now the whole town knows . whoop dee do........but you didn't see any other head football coach on the hill getting busted did you? nope. guess st. paul is realizing that their people do make errors----not that any of them will admit that. and mr. centers, i'm surprised that you ran the story the way you did seeing as how your children either attend the school or have graduated from there. me myself did graduate from there and am glad that the public knows that livengood is not saintly as they think of him. he now knows human error. go to confession and say your 50 hail mary's and be done with it.

jjs (Anonymous)

I think alot of this crap has to do with Doug Berry's failing business. His business's have failed & he has to complain like a little sissy. the business is bad b/c The food is terrible. Doug, I think you're a CRY BABY. wahahahhh

mon.peaceoffice...

there are things the monroeville police do-they protect& serve the public!we do have some good men on this force now.if you only knew!personaly one of the officers had told me recently that there are a lot of really BAD people that drive through this little town!well, i'm grateful to him for watching out for everyone here in this community!and stopping these bad people!i have lived here for many years,& i have never seen a crusier turn his lights on just to pass traffic approaching a traffic light.then shut them off after he passes or usually turning onto another sidestreet.well i don't have enough fingers&toes to count how many times i see the norwalk police doing that!!!and that has been going on for years!it just happened again a couple of days ago!that is a crock of phooyey!!

st paul alumni ...

too bad livengood. setting that good example for your football players and not to mention aren't you the dean of students there? don't you rip students apart for not following the rules? i've seen him do it. so why is everyone defending him? he didn't follow the rules, got caught now must suffer the consequences. isn't that what you preach? discipline discipline discipline. now run 5 miles john since you broke the rules......the majority of the teachers at st paul are hypocrites which is why my children don't attend my alma mater. go eagles!!!!!!!!!!!!

wakeup (Anonymous)

hey drug dealers!!! Come to Norwalk. Mayor Leasch is more worried about someone having a beer after a softball game than the city's drug problem. Under cover beer sting!!! Give me a break Norwalk...What a joke

Lola (Anonymous)

Wow -How is SP gonna sweep this one under the big red rug...it had been a long time coming-let's face it when you poop your pants...YOU GET NO PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

previous cathol...

how can you be a role model as a catholic who is also a closet gambler and beer drinker when you shouldn't drink smoke or gamble? it's not about him being a role model it's about him being an upstanding citizen. who cares if he had a couple of beers? whoo get over it. bad bad nortucky rejector on bringing up harkness's past with the county it had nothing to do with this article and happened in 2004---let's count em up---3 years ago. i agree with for shame, apologies need to be in tomorrow's newspaper--front page big letters WE'RE SORRY CHRIS!!!!!!! LOVE MR. CENTERS AND STAFF BOO HOO JOHN and berry's (the cause of the bust) is cockroach infested and utterly disgusting not to mention gag me food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blame game (Ano...

This is no different than a speeding ticket, but for the Reflector to bring up the 2004 incident in which there was no evidence to charge Chris with anything, now that just sucks and they should be ashamed of themselves.

bsg (Anonymous)

Way to go Sue and Tony. Sorry you guys must feel left out
We think you are great too!!!! Bet you had 3 or 4 more when you got home!!!!

Drinks on the h...

I am a St. Paul graduate and am one of the people that will NOT be sending my kids there. That being said, I do not know John Livengood personally but I do know he is a heck of a coach. His track record speaks for itself. My question is, what does him having a beer, wether it in an illegal place or not, have ANYTHING to do with him being a coach? Was he coaching any of your children at the time? Um, NO! Was he at a school function at the time? Um, NO! So those people that are just jealous that Norwalk keeps hiring football coaches that have NEVER had a winning season and are upset that your kids will never play for a winning team, it isnt' John Livengood's fault. Quit bashing him for having a beer and complain to the people in charge of hiring our great coaches. Also, I have played ball at Baines for the last 15 years and have had a beer on the hill after every one of them. Illegal as it is, I can honestly say I have had beers or witnessed Norwalk police officers, other area coaches, area teachers and Mr. Joe Lindenberger himself up on the hill having an "illegal" drink on the hill. I guess NPD made sure they didn't show up on one of those nights did they?

spg (Anonymous)

"One of the suspects cited Wednesday" For God's sake nobody got murdered. How about how many people got killed in Minnesota, not how many beers were to be had at Baines Park. What a crock!!

Drinks on the h...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the complete irrelevance of Chris Harkness and the fact that investigators found no evidence that he was involved in anything. So my question is, WHY MENTION IT???? What does that have to do with him having a beer after a softball game? There obviously was nothing else to fill our paper. Did the J.R.B. gang not vandalize anything last night?

out of the loop...

what is j.r.b. gang?

steelpak (Anonymous)

Wow...there is certainly a few things wrong with this whole situation. First off, Norwalk Reflector, get a life, get your stories straight & your facts right before publishing. Who really cares who got caught drinking @ Baines & what in the world does Harkness's past have anything to do with the incident last night? You should be a shamed for printing this story & apologize not only to Harkness for bringing up what hapened in 2004, but also to the other people. Second, for those of you who are criticizing the police either on this blog or at anytime, next time you need some to protect you, don't call them. If they are not doing their jobs, then apparently you will not ever need them. THEY WERE DOING THEIR JOBS LAST NIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK FOR 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR!!!! They do work on all the problems that are in the city, especially the drugs, but they cannot be everywhere all the time and unfortunately are not able to witness all the drug activity that goes on. If any of you had the slightest idea of how hard they work in protecting this city, you would not be so harsh. They bust butts trying to get the criminals off the street. Are these people criminals?? No, but they got caught breaking the law (NO drinking in a city park whatsoever)& I am sure that all of you who are praising Livengood would be singing a different tune if an accident had occured due to his lack of judgement. It does not take much alcohol to cause someone to make a mistake. For the person named Nice grammar, praise to you; I feel the same way!!!

Drinks on the h...

You obviously missed the paper the night before talking about the new Walgreens building having J.R.B. written on it. Or the numerous other complaints about these same initials graffitied on personal property. From being involved in the Norwalk Middle school this J.R.B. "gang" get in a lot of trouble. Maybe NPD should look deeper into them instead of the drinking on the hill.

steelpak (Anonymous)

Thank you Retired Cop; you know exactly what these POLICE OFFICERS do & understand their jobs.

POOR REPORTING ...

maybe the Norwalk reflector should get some reporters that report on something other than the town gossip. There is no reason that this article should have been a headline, or in the newspaper whatsoever. There a lot things going on in the world. Maybe educating Norwalk on events throughout the U.S. and around the world would make better headlines all while educating out community on something other that useless gossip!

Former St.Paul ...

Wow! What a ridiculous article! If the Reflector wanted to get their little internet page buzzing they sure did a good job. When I was a student at St. Paul, I recall a Fr. White ,who was not only a priest but a much loved and respected teacher by his students, coming to class and telling us all he had received a DUI over the weekend. He had choosen to tell us this because one of his students drove by and saw him taking the field sobriety test. He wanted his students to hear it directly from him instead of reading the dui convictions in the newspaper or from the standard high school rumor mill. Why wasnt that front page news in our beloved Reflector? Was he not also a role model to our children and his community and church as a teacher AND a priest? Why wasnt his name smeared all over the front page? As far as Baines Park goes.. I remember the day it opened. I was raised there every softball season.. my father and all of his friends have sat on the top of that hill for years and drank beer. When I got old enough I sat up there with them and cracked open a cold one too. I have witnessed MANY a fine upstanding citizen be it a teacher,judge,law enforcement,norwalk reflector journalists etc, sit on that hill and drink. They never bothered anyone and often invited any passerby a cold brew after a hard game. It hasnt been an issue for years. Lets find something better to do then pick on these ladies and gentlemen. I had Livengood as a teacher and have not lost one ounce of respect for him from this. He is a fine man. Chris Harkness another fine man. His past is irrelevent and a waste of ink the paper used to print it. Next time use a bigger font it will take up more space. As for the police officers. They did their job.. we all have a boss and we all take orders. Lets not take it out on them either. Chris and John, next time I see ya, the beer is on me!

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