BELLEVUE, Ohio — More charges could be filed against a Bellevue man who allegedly burned down his house after assaulting his wife, and then fired a gun at responding police.
Lloyd Hicks, 72, is expected to face a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge and possible additional felony charges after 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. In the meantime, a passerby reported a house fire at the Hicks’ residence.
The Bellevue Fire Department responded to the scene, and witnesses reported the suspect was sitting in a lawnchair behind the residence with a gun.
Firefighters 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 repeatedly 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. The fire remains under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.
“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.
The prosecutor’s office had not decided on charges by late Friday. An expected domestic violence charge had yet to be filed in Tiffin Municipal Court.
Sergeant Reinbolt said the suspect had some burnt hair on his arms and the back of his neck, and was to be taken to a mental health facility for an evaluation.
No police officers were injured.