BELLEVUE, Ohio -- Authorities said a Bellevue man who allegedly burned down his house after striking his wife, and then fired a gun at police who responded to the scene, will undergo a mental health evaluation.
Lloyd Hicks, 72, of Bellevue faces a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge and possible additional felony charges following a Thursday incident at his house at 6681 N. County Road 29.
The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said Mr. Hicks got into an argument with his wife Donna Hicks, 55, whom he allegedly struck numerous times.
Sgt. Kevin Reinbolt said Ms. Hicks “made it to a safe place” and reported the assault to Bellevue police.
Bellevue police sent an officer to the house, and in the meantime a passerby reported a house fire at the Hicks’ residence.
The Bellevue Fire Department responded to the scene, and witnesses reported Mr. HIcks was sitting in a lawnchair behind the residence with a gun.
The fire department waited down the road as authorities worked to secure the site. The sheriff’s office said the suspect fired two shots at the first deputy to arrive at the scene.
After additional police arrived, they spoke with the suspect using a public address system. The sheriff’s department reported the suspect had a handgun in his lap and moved it under his chin numerous times as those talks continued.
After 30 to 45 minutes, the suspect agreed to move to a nearby shelter and later put down the gun, the sheriff’s office said.
Fire crews moved in to put out the fire, which by that time fully engulfed the home. Sergeant Reinbolt said police believe Mr. Hicks used gasoline to start the blaze.
“What’s going to happen now is that the investigation is going to go to the Seneca County Prosecutor’s office to be reviewed for possible felony charges,” he said.
Sergeant Reinbolt said the suspect had some burnt hair on his arms and the back of his neck.
Mr. Hicks has not been arraigned yet on the domestic violence charge.