A rural Wakeman man who is in the middle of a divorce was arrested Friday after he repeatedly smashed his pickup truck into the side of his house.
Jared L. Welch, 27, of 2215 Chenango Road, had a minor hand injury. He initially was charged with obstructing official business and possession of marijuana and booked into the Huron County Jail.
"We'll be consulting the law director about the damage to the home," Huron County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said.
(NOTE: To see pictures of the damage, click HERE.)
Deputy Shannon Lyons and the Wakeman Fire District responded to Welch's home after a neighbor reported hearing a loud banging noise.
"We received a call that a male subject operating a vehicle, striking the side of the house, causing damage to this home here on Chenango Road," Patrick said.
"Just before arriving on scene, (Lyons) saw a male subject walking down the roadway. As he approached that male, that male took off on foot. The deputy told him to stop and the deputy ended up getting in a foot pursuit with the individual," he added.
Lyons caught the man and determined he was Welch.
"He (Welch) apparently is going through a divorce. He took the pickup truck and was smashing the house, trying to knock it over," Patrick said.
No domestic relations/divorce case involving Welch is listed in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Patrick said according to Welch's wife and information deputies received during the investigation, the couple have been married for about four years, but Welch hadn't lived at the Chenango Road residence since November.
"From the information we received, the wife had filed for divorce. ... He's upset it about it," Patrick said. "He caused the damage to the home because of the pending divorce and he doesn't want her to have the house."
The red Ford pickup truck was towed from the scene Friday. Authorities don't believe the collisions with the house knocked it off its foundation.
"According to one of the neighbors (who) heard a loud banging noise, this was going on for about a half-hour to 45 minutes when he was taking the vehicle and repeatedly smashing the side of the home, trying to knock it down," Patrick said.
"He (Welch) also went inside his house. He resided here. He was inside the house and damaged the interior of the house as well," Patrick said.
Welch's wife wasn't home at the time of the incident.
"No one was home at the time. He (Welch) has a small injury to his hand; other than that, there's no injuries," Patrick said.
The sheriff's spokesman said he's never experienced something similar to Friday's incident.
Wakeman Fire Chief Dave Wilson wasn't at the scene Friday, but he also said the circumstances are unusual.
"This is the first time we've come across (something like) this," he said.
Six to eight firefighters were at the house until the truck was towed away. The crew was at the scene for as long as 90 minutes.
"According to the officer (who) was out there, the front porch was knocked off," Wilson said.
Patrick, who was asked if Welch has any mental issues, said the suspect wasn't intoxicated Friday.
"He made some statements to Deputy Lyons, so we made an appointment for him to be seen by a mental health (professional)," the sheriff's spokesman said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector managing editor Joe Centers contributed to this story.