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Published: Wednesday, 7/15/2009

Ex-Toledo firefighter found guilty in break-in at ex-girlfriend's

After becoming irate that his former girlfriend was seeing another man, a former Toledo firefighter broke into her home and caused thousands of dollars of damage, a Lucas County assistant prosecutor said yesterday.

Melvin R. Bond, 48, of 3611 Cecelia Ave., pleaded no contest to one count of burglary in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He was found guilty of breaking into the Sherbrooke Road home of Claudia Rodriguez sometime during the night of Jan. 29 and ransacking the residence.

He faces up to five years in prison when sentenced by Judge Frederick McDonald Aug. 18.

"He caused substantial damage while within the home, including painting vulgar language on the walls, damaging a water heater, damaging a sink, and he went through the closets," Assistant County Prosecutor Frank Spryszak said.

Bond, who resigned from the fire department this month, was charged with several misdemeanors and two felonies in connection with two separate incidents involving his former live-in girlfriend.

During a Jan. 24 argument, he was accused of grabbing Claudia Rodriguez by both arms and shoving her backward to the floor. He returned to her house five days later and broke in, authorities said.

Authorities said he caused about $20,000 damage to the interior of Ms. Rodriguez's home.

He was charged in Toledo Municipal Court with one count each of domestic violence, assault, domestic violence threats, and menacing.

In Common Pleas Court, he faced burglary and vandalism charges.

As part of the negotiated plea agreement, the burglary charge was lowered to a lesser-degree felony, and the vandalism charge will be dismissed at the time he is sentenced. Also negotiated was that the misdemeanor charges would be dismissed.

Bond's son, Melvin M. Bond, entered a plea and was sentenced last month for his role in the incident. Mr. Bond, 24, of 1253 Noble St., pleaded no contest June 25 to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business and was sentenced to 18 months' probation and a $250 fine.

The younger Mr. Bond was convicted of attempting to remove clothing from his father's house that was potential evidence in the elder man's criminal case.

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