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Published: Wednesday, 7/10/2002

Man carrying sign charged with menacing the mayor

A Toledo man was arrested yesterday for displaying a sign that authorities said threatened Mayor Jack Ford, including the mention of putting a knife to his neck and beating him with a bat.

Tyrone Frye, also known as Tyrone Akber, 58, of 723 West Delaware Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct and menacing, both misdemeanor offenses.

A temporary protection order was filed against him. He was being held last night in the Lucas County jail pending an arraignment today in Toledo Municipal Court.

According to court records, Mr. Frye is accused of holding a sign that read: “You say we are equal, well Mayor Ford could I put a knife to your neck, later on threaten to beat you up with a bat, have a trial `no transcript,' have filed court papers on time and the victim of this is guilty.”

Police Chief Mike Navarre said Mr. Frye was in front of Government Center with the sign Monday. Detective Harold Mosley, the mayor's bodyguard, saw the sign, talked to Mr. Frye, and told him it was not appropriate for him to hold it there, the chief said.

Mr. Frye left, but he returned yesterday. The detective conferred with an attorney in the city law department, and again talked to Mr. Frye, who said that he was advised that he was not doing anything wrong.

His sign was confiscated and he was arrested about 12:30 p.m. The municipal prosecutor was advised. The chief said city officials will discuss whether the mayor needs more security.

“We don't have any comment on the incident,” Megan Vahey, the mayor's spokeswoman, said.

Mr. Frye claimed he was picketing to get the mayor's attention. He said the message on the sign conveys similar incidents that he said have happened to him and his family. He contends that the police, judicial system, and Lucas County Children Services have failed them, and he questioned whether the mayor would be treated the same way if something similar happened to him or his family.

“I'm not threatening the mayor,” said Mr. Frye, who has been picketing various locations since January.

One of the locations is children services. Rod Brandt, a spokesman for the agency, said, “Some things have been said and written in letters [from Mr. Frye] to us that gave us security concerns that were forwarded to law enforcement authorities.”

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