Man, 73, allegedly drives at animal investigators

Thomas Linke
Thomas Linke

WOODVILLE — A man allegedly tried to hit investigators with his vehicle as they looked into an animal cruelty case Tuesday at his residence near Woodville in Sandusky County.

Kelly Askins, Humane Society of Sandusky County shelter manager and animal cruelty investigator, said she obtained a warrant to go on the property Tuesday after receiving multiple complaints about a dead goat in a pasture.

Ms. Askins said she and an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation were at the property when the owner, Thomas Linke, 73, of 4632 Sandusky County Road 16, drove up in a truck and rammed the front of a vehicle which was hooked up to a horse trailer that volunteers had brought to the scene. That vehicle had been backed up to the gate in order to load animals, and it was not occupied at the time of the collision, she said.

Ms. Askins said a BCI agent had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. She said no one was hurt and Mr. Linke was arrested by Sandusky County sheriff’s deputies at the scene.

Mr. Linke was being held in the Sandusky County jail late Tuesday without bond, pending a court appearance today in Sandusky County Court 2 in Woodville. He is charged with assault on a police officer, a fourth-degree felony, and a second-degree misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business, a dispatcher said.

Ms. Askins said he will face additional charges of animal cruelty.

Investigators discovered at least three dead animals on the grounds, all goats or cattle. She could not say yet what caused the animals’ deaths, and said investigators also found “multiple bones” throughout pasture lands.

Other animals on the property, including a dozen goats, two cattle, and a sheep, will be taken to foster homes. Ms. Askins said those animals were “slightly thin” and “a couple were a little more than slightly thin.”

She said it appeared at least one of the dead animals had died in the last four to five days; the others had been dead longer.

Ms. Askins said the owner accused investigators on the scene of stealing his animals.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: or 419-724-6056, or on Twitter @vanmccray.