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."



Ohhhhhh my God! The football coach drank a beer!!!!!! I guess everyone thinks he should be a SAINT. The police did their job. (Good job) However, if it had been me, it would not have been headlines on the front page. Why is it such an issue that it was the "St.Paul Football Coach"? Doesnt Norwalk have two high schools? Isnt it supposed to be about community at some point? Even though they are both a very big part of the SAME comminuty it seems the two do not support each other. What a shame. All of that aside, the Norwalk Reflector leaves very little to be desired. It is terrible that you have to print such trash on a daily basis. The least you could do is use the correct spelling in your paper. There isnt a day that this pathetic excuse for a newspaper doesnt have SOMETHING spelled wrong. (I guess we all make mistakes.) I wonder... if one of the staff at the paper got caught making a mistake out in public....would it be on the front page of the paper????? Maybe we should print an article on the uneducated idiot at the paper who cant spell. On another note, if I were Chris Harkness, I would make it my mission to bring that paper to its knees. What a great guy!! As for John could not ask for a more upstanding citizen. I would trust him with my children's lives. Clearly, if you are trashing dont know him. Best wishes to all of you who were so wrongly slammed by this unfortunate, worthless newspaper.

Interested (Ano...

I just want to know if Chris Harkness is married or in a relationship? I would love to date him! What a great guy and very handsome too!

Another St Paul...

I can't believe this! What are you blaming the Reflector for? This happened on city property, like it or not they were breaking a law. If it is a bad law and maybe that is the point of this - the law should be changed. If they had been drinking the beer at Linvengood's house nothing would have happened. I understand that this has been accepted behavior for years but think what the headlines would be and the hit the police would take if one of these beer drinkers would hit someone as they left the park.

If the Reflector didn't put it in the paper/website they would be accused of withholding news and protecting the St. Paul coach. Do you think the Reflector should sit and cull city news items because they involve some notable in town? Of course not - ask Centers how many times he gets calls about stories that aren't in and people want to know why. Newspapers are there to report all the news - good and bad. I think they do a geat job.


And....he likes kids too. Imagine that, "guy who drinks in the public parks" who loves children. Isnt he very involved with the youth in this community? (Norwalk kids and St. Paul kids) Great catch!! Good luck! Someone should buy the guy a drink just for his troubles! (Shame on the Norwalk Reflector!!!)


TO ANOTHER ST. PAUL GRAD: I am blaming the paper because this should have been printed along with all of the other minor incidents that happened under the Norwalk Police blurp ...(toward the back of the paper) NOT ON THE FRONT PAGE!!!! It isnt IMPORTANT news. I wouldnt feel any different if it were the Norwalk coach or any other coach. The paper used poor judgment. Period.

Undercover? (An...

Norwalk PD might want to evaluate how they go "Undercover". We saw these idiots a mile away, and got rid of our beer immediately. We also warned everyone we could. Let's see ... we see a guy get out of a car that had several other guys ... He has on jean shorts, a polo shirt, a hat, and sunglasses, now, this is while every other guy at the park has on either a softball uniform or athletic shorts and a t-shirt ... He stares at the hill, talking on his cell phone while a guy in the car he got out of is on a cell phone.

You guys are a joke. If you go undercover, try to fit in.

JEF (Anonymous)

Now all you "God fearing" people get your Bibles out, dust 'em off, turn to John 8:7 and read what it says. How often do so-called Christians tend to forget that Jesus associated with "sinners?" The "perfect" bask in their own greatness and already have their reward.

c (Anonymous)

Isnt this yesterdys news? In the weeks to come, the paper will be printing the "countless spankins" that Coach Livengood and his team put on other teams. But, IT WONT BE ON THE FRONT PAGE IN HEADLINES WILL IT????? That is what should be important....the great job that the area coaches and kids in this community are doing. NOT that the coach had a beer!! bring up that unfortunate accusations that were made against Mr. Harkness is obsurd!!

bhp (Anonymous)

I am reading this article and ...Russ Leffler, you talk about Chris Harkness like he is dead. He still has alot going for him and as for you..well, you just need a shower and a haircut. Maybe a shave too and some new clothes.

sep (Anonymous)

As the Beatles once said. "Yesterday, life was such an easy game to play," GO FLYERS!! Put this crap behind you!! Make a Joe Centers and Doug Berry dummy and tackle your hearts out. I would include Sue Lesch to, but it's not nice to hit a girl. Even if she is from Monroeville!!! We should all be used to the crap in this rag by now, it's what makes Norwalk go round. No qualms with NPD. They are great and just doing their jobs. See what happens when you let a woman run the town. I wonder what Louis Frey would have done???

Not a Flyer (An...

John Livengood does not make excuses for his actions. He takes complete responsibility for them and will willing pay the consequences. The point is was this story worthy of front page news? NO. Would you read it on the front page if he got a speeding ticket? Doubtful. He is an well respected man. This unfortunate incident just gives ammunition to those who don't know or respect him. For the record, it was the Norwalk SWAT team that busted these folks for drinking in the park. Seriously??? I would think there would be a better use for our tax dollars!

sep (Anonymous)

Had John Livengood not been one of the 12 Bad and Uglies where would this have been printed? These comments might not be front page material but I think they should all be printed. Doug Berry, Sue SMITH Lesch, and Joe Centers should all be feeling pretty crappy by now. But knowing John Livengood, he probably is feeling compassion for all of you and I'm sure this whole ordeal and all of you are in his prayers.

pes (Anonymous)

Add this to your accomplishments wonder woman!!! Along with that wonderful road that isn't any different than it was before except a little more blacktop. By the way did your ex do the paving?? Just wondering!!!

question (Anonymous)

was it NPD officers in plain clothes or was it ohio liquor control?

still mad (Anon...

first of all the issue is not with Charles Harkness. It is Chris Harkness get your facts straight before you write. Charles Harkness happens to already be in jail, Not Chris.If the Mayor "hates sports" so much then does that mean that she don't support our kids' in sports? shame on you mayor if i would of known you were so against sports in this town you would of never received my vote.

definitely not ...

Last time I checked, school is not in session, football hadnt started the real season and Livengood was just being John Livengood, private citizen, on his private time playing a little softball (which by the way has nothing to do with football) (the balls arent even close to being the same size) and enjoying his summer. Not a thing to do with him being the football coach. Nor did it have anything to do with St. Paul. Such a sad sad thing. Without a doubt he accepts his punishment, but to slam him publicly is outrageous. I dont even know him and I am outraged by this. Freedom of the press is one thing, but this paper is way out of line.

nadamania (Anon...

Livengood needs to be terminated immediately. What kind of catholic example is he?

J (Anonymous)

Maybe we could have used our local paper in a positive way by informing the public the after 15-20 years the N.P.D. would be enforcing the "No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages" at Baines park. Now that article would have been front page worthy. Instead we sent the SWAT TEAM down and arrested people of a crime the Police have overlooked for years. Poor judgement!

hating mayor wh...

if the mayor hated sports then why did she support her son when he played football and was a state bound wrestler if i'm not mistaken? her daughter also played volleyball as well. who cares if the mayor does not like sports? what does that have to do with anything? nothing!!!

Walcott (Anonymous)

Most of you must not know the real John Livengood. he isnt such a great guy. I played for him....and I believe it was a QB from Western he told us to hurt. This guy is a jerk...what goes around comes around. I am letting St. Paul's know today all donations to the church ends untill this man is gone.

free (Anonymous)

terminate livengood? Then terminate Joe Centers...he drinks, he is also supposed to be setting a good catholic example and by spreading trash about people is not doing so. Thank God it is a free country. Free to drink a beer...Free to print trash!!

drama (Anonymous)

Leave the guy alone. Is this the same Walcott that was a crossing guard who came to the crossing guard post DRUNK and got fired???????? Or is that Wolcott? Do you mean to tell me you never had a beer other than in the privacy of your own home? If you make donations at the Catholic church, then I assume you go there and partake in the communion which I believe part of that communion is wine! Hypocrit

he quoted!!!!! ...

check out and read what livengood had to say to an out of town newspaper. he's quoted almost throughout the entire story!!! granted he pretty much summed it up by saying i used poor judgement i will suffer the consequences, but when the norwalk relector tried to reach him he was at football practice. why not just go to the football field and question him there? surely he would not say no comment to the press in front of his team!!! try calling him up again joe centers, i'm sure he'll speak with you!!

Jonathan Christ...

Roast: The drinkers, who knew it was illegal, you will get a small fine and go back to normal, about the same as gettign a speeding ticket.

Toast: Norwalk Police for doing their job.

Roast: The Norwalk Reflector for printing Chris Harkness's connection to the theft by someone else, come on, it's hard to defend the paper when you do something like that.

Toast: Those who didn't get caught!!!!

ANNIE (Anonymous)

Norwalk Reflector-I don't think that you should have this site where people can trash the name and livelihood of other people and not sign their name!!!You do not allow this in the public forum so why do you allow it on the computer??? These half-wits and red necks engage in character assassination and untruths {read lies} with no risk or responsibility at all. Any libel or slander here???DO AWAY WITH COMMENTS ON THIS SITE

Park (Anonymous)

True enough those guys broke the law, I'm sure they will take there lumps and get over it. The fact that it looks like the Mayor and Police Chief set this up to squash the Berry's thing is shameful!! This is hardly a "Problem" that called for a "Undercover Sting" (I think its LAUGHABLE!!) I doubt they had to chase anyone down or arrest them for disorderly conduct. I believe the police could have walked up in full uniform and got the same results. The Police officers time would be better spent working on the drug and underage drinking problem the Norwalk has. This concerns me way more than a few softball players having a few beers after a game!! But I will admit catching those underage drinkers and bar owner will be no walk in the park....

still mad (Anon...

well i guess the mayor would have to support sports when it is her KIDS' playing them, that doesn't mean that she likes sports that means that she is being a Mom and really has no choice. I can't see her telling her kids "NO" you can't do sports because i don't like them. To me she didn't have a choice and if she would of told them that, then shame on her for being a bad mom!

joe (Anonymous)

After reading this article i cannot believe you let it go to press the way it is. To bring up Mr Harkness' past is completely unprofessinal it has nothing to do with what happened at baines park. This isn't the first time something like this happend. I know that everytime you mention the former chief from monroeville you also bring up the ticket issued to his son even if the article has nothing to do with it. Lately I feel like i'm reading tabloids not a newspaper. I surely hope you clean up your act.

outraged (Anonymous)

I have played softball for many years and so has my husband and now my son. And yes for years has always been "see ya on the hill". Never in all my years has there ever been a problem and while yes they are enforcing the rules ( or so they say ) and yes they obviously broke those rules.....ITS NOT HEADLINE NEWS!!! I have known John all my life and same with Chris. WHO GIVES A S**T IF THEY HAD A FLIPPEN BEER. Place it in the police blotter and be done with it. THE EINSTEIN WHO WROTE THE ARTICLE NEEDS TO WRITE A HUGE "I AM SORRY" TO ALL INVOLVED!!!!!. Just because you drink after a ball game does not make morally wrong or a terrible role model. For those of you on here who are bashing you ever have a glass of wine or sip of beer....I bet you 3/4 of you will be at a festival this weekend in the beer tent. Or better yet at Casa Fiesta. If this is truely a horrible thing, then the reflector better be seated at the beer tent and collect everyones name for the next days newspaper. I have seen many a prominent people in this town WASTED while attending these puplic drinking events. Furthermore, DOUG BERRY GET A FREAKING LIFE. You have run that business in the ground. You have that stupid bar now...cant you be happy with that. Lets drum up ALL the nasty skeletons in your closet....shall we. Chris and John and all the others involved...hold your heads up....because for anyone who has ever played at that park and sat on the hill in at least the last 20 yrs...we should all be listed with them.

City with split...

Make up your minds Norwalk, are you for drinking or against it? You hated the idea of drinking in Bresson Park and feared it would be bad for teens to see drinking in the streets and on public property. You railed against the bars and parents because they didn't do a good enough job stopping underage drinkers, which then deteriorated into a host of let's bash the bars comments because people get drunk and get into trouble. Both of those were front page stories. Now, a high profile individual in the community who has a heavy influence on potential underage drinkers winds up on the front page and suddenly the Reflector is a piece of junk. Someone is being inconsistent here, but its not the paper. Either you hate illegal drinking or you don't mind it, but you can't have it both ways. It's either a big deal or just a beer. As for the paper, if they had run the story tiny inside or not at all, how many people would be saying, look the Reflector's at it again covering up for St. Paul -- it's Centers' St. Paul bias again. The paper has run stories about teachers and administrators from all over the area who got into trouble with the law before, this is not new territory. If any area football coach got cited, it would be front page news. I'm sure Livengood is not a bad person, but with the power and prestige of being the big shot comes the responsibility of knowing when you mess up, it's a big deal. Instead of bashing the Reflector, perhaps you should all use this as a teaching tool for your kids and point out that no matter who you are and what you achieve the law applies to you.