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Published: Thursday, 2/17/2005

Burglar offers arresting performance on chief's piano

TIFFIN - New Riegel's police chief was ready for trouble when he confronted an intruder in his house but found an unarmed, intoxicated young man who treated him to an impromptu Beethoven piano performance.

Shawn Chadwell, 19, of Bethel, Ohio, was charged with burglary and underage drinking after his arrest early Sunday at the home of Chief Steve Swartzmiller in Seneca County's Eden Township, just south of Tiffin.

Seneca County sheriff's deputies said Chief Swartzmiller was awakened shortly after 2:30 a.m. by the sound of someone breaking through the front door of his house on Township Road 22.

Cindy Feasel, a dispatcher for the department, said Chief Swartzmiller grabbed his service firearm and headed for the living room, where he found Mr. Chadwell sitting at the piano.

"He got up, and the chief told him to sit back down, and then he started playing," Ms. Feasel said, reading from an incident report. "He played beautifully, even as intoxicated as he was."

The man told the chief he needed a ride, and Chief Swartmiller called to get him one - to the sheriff's office.

Ms. Feasel said Mr. Chadwell was apparently looking for a party when he barged into the Swartzmiller residence.

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