Women report threats after naming a suspect

Stray dog’s shooting in E. Toledo led to more woes

4/5/2014
BY ALEXANDRA MESTER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Janet Goforth stands next to a bullet hole in the front door of her home in the 800 block of Clark Street in East Toledo. She and her ex-daughter-in-law say they believe the shot was fired in retaliation for information given to authorities about the shooting of a stray dog in the neighborhood on March 24.
Janet Goforth stands next to a bullet hole in the front door of her home in the 800 block of Clark Street in East Toledo. She and her ex-daughter-in-law say they believe the shot was fired in retaliation for information given to authorities about the shooting of a stray dog in the neighborhood on March 24.

An East Toledo woman who has been threatened for her part in identifying a suspect in a stray dog’s shooting last month is speaking out even after her home was shot at last week.

Julie Mason of the 800 block of Clark Street told Toledo police 26-year-old Marcus “Mo” Crawford, 26, of 840 Utah St. might have been who shot a black-and-tan female German shepherd March 24.

Warrants were subsequently issued for Mr. Crawford’s arrest.

The friendly stray, who is now named June, had been cared for by several neighborhood households after being dumped there and was resting on a porch when she was shot in the right shoulder.

Ms. Mason heard the shot and the dog’s subsequent scream of pain.

Julie Mason recalls hearing the shot that hit a black-and-tan female German shepherd. The dog had a leg amputated but is recovering in a Planned Pethood foster home and is expected to be adopted.
Julie Mason recalls hearing the shot that hit a black-and-tan female German shepherd. The dog had a leg amputated but is recovering in a Planned Pethood foster home and is expected to be adopted.

“I jumped up and went running to the door,” she said. “I opened the door and saw Mo walking past down the street. I seen him put it in his pocket, the gun.”

Ms. Mason said she received a phone call two days after the shooting from the suspect’s cousin, Gary Crawford, 35, of 840 Utah.

“He was threatening to shoot up the house and take care of me,” Ms. Mason said.

The next morning, at about 8:45 a.m., bullets came flying through the living-room window and front door as Ms. Mason and her ex-mother-in-law Janet Goforth sat in the living room.

“I had just come back in here with our coffee,” Ms. Goforth said. “We were sitting right here, and the next thing you know, we heard that glass shatter.”

One bullet came through the front door, penetrated a living-room wall, continued through a kitchen cabinet, and lodged in a bathroom wall at the very back of the house.

Ms. Goforth had been standing in the bullet’s path just a few minutes before, fixing coffee.

Gary Crawford, whom Ms. Mason said goes by the street name of “Paco,” was indicted on charges of intimidation and obstruction of justice.

He was booked into the Lucas County jail March 28 and remained there Friday in lieu of $25,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Monday.

Gary Crawford’s public defender, James MacHarg, did not return a phone call Friday. Attempts to reach both Marcus Crawford and Gary Crawford directly also were unsuccessful.

Marcus Crawford also was indicted for carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon while under disability. He has not yet been taken into custody.

Ms. Mason and Ms. Goforth said they have continued to be threatened by people associated with Marcus Crawford.

Tanner
Tanner

The pair said they have received numerous phone calls, some from people issuing further threats and some hangups.

Marcus Crawford
Marcus Crawford

They suspect tampering with their vehicles, such as by loosening lug nuts, and said they have heard gunfire daily near their home, though they know of no other shots striking the house.

Gary Crawford
Gary Crawford

Toledo police officials could not be reached Friday to discuss the case.

The women have taken to sleeping in shifts, when they are able to sleep at all.

They no longer leave the house alone, and Ms. Mason won’t allow anyone to sit by the living-room window for fear of a second attack.

“I have to look over my shoulder,” Ms. Mason said.

“I’ve been on edge. I’ve never been like this.”

Ms. Goforth said the pair had never felt endangered in the neighborhood before.

Ms. Mason, who suffers from stress and anxiety-induced seizures, has had more frequent seizures in the last week.

Down the street, resident Cornell Tanner and his wife, Debbie Tanner, say they have become used to violence in the neighborhood.

“We’re not unaccustomed to being woken in the middle of the night by the sound of small-arms fire,” Mr. Tanner said.

Neighborhood residents including Ms. Mason and Ms. Goforth left their homes to care for June, whom they wrapped in a tablecloth, while she lay bleeding on the porch.

Mr. Tanner wasn’t home at the time, but he said the shooting of an innocent, friendly neighborhood dog for no apparent reason is despicable.

“It’s a sad statement about the society we’ve morphed into today,” he said.

However, the Tanners say they feel safe enough because they and several of their neighbors have known each other and lived in the same houses for decades.

The families lean on each other in times of trouble.

“We’ve known each other for 45 years, so there’s a strength in there that we rely on,” Mr. Tanner said. “Somebody’s got our back.... If you don’t knock on my door, I’m going to be upset with you because I want to know if you need help.”

Ms. Goforth she has no plans to let intimidation run her out of the neighborhood.

“I like the house, and I like the neighborhood,” Ms. Mason added. “It’s just these people. They don’t understand that they’re taking down the neighborhood they live in.”

After receiving emergency care, June was taken to the Lucas County Canine Care & Control.

Bone damage from the bullet forced a leg amputation that was performed March 28 with the help of Cutie’s Fund, a special pool of money to help dogs at the county shelter with high-cost medical needs.

June is in a Planned Pethood foster home and is to be adopted after she recovers.

Contact Alexandra Mester: amester@theblade.com, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.