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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Ex-Toledo firefighter gets 30 days for home break-in

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

For more than two decades, Melvin Bond, Sr., served the city as a Toledo firefighter and paramedic, but his actions off the job landed him in Lucas County Common Pleas Court and, eventually, in jail.

Bond, 48, who broke into his former girlfriend s home and ransacked it Jan. 29, was sentenced yesterday to three years of community control, including 30 days in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio. As part of his sentence, Bond, of 3611 Cecelia Ave., was ordered to take anger management and domestic violence courses.

It was clearly an act that was out of character for this defendant, but it was an act nonetheless that clearly had an impact on the victim, Judge Frederick McDonald said, adding: This type of conduct calls for incarceration.

Bond pleaded no contest July 14 to one count of burglary. He was found guilty of breaking into the Sherbrooke Road home of Claudia Rodriguez during the night and vandalizing it, causing about $20,000 damage.

Authorities said Bond became enraged after learning his former girlfriend was seeing another man. While in the home, Bond painted vulgar language on the walls, damaged a water heater and a sink, and ransacked all the closets.

The victim was in the courtroom but declined to speak. She instead sent a letter to the judge.

Bond told Judge McDonald yesterday he d been forced to resign from the fire department early last month and was remorseful for his poor judgment.

I ve realized that other than the information that the pros-ecutor said throughout these proceedings, you know nothing about me, he said. I accept full responsibility for my indiscretion and poor judgment in this matter.

Bond said he was especially sorry that he dragged his son into the matter and into the court system.

His son, Melvin M. Bond, 24, entered a plea and was sentenced June 25 for attempting to remove clothing from his father s house that was potential evidence in the elder Bond s criminal case. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business and was sentenced to 18 months probation and a $250 fine.

Bond, who was a lieutenant in the fire department, said the incident cost him his career and led to his financial ruin. He told the judge he would best be rehabilitated in an environment where he could begin rebuilding his life.

Assistant County Prosecutor J. Christopher Anderson countered that although rehabilitation is one aspect of a criminal sentence, punishment is the other.

There was a ripple effect that he created when he did this act, he said, adding that several people were affected by his actions.

As part of the agreement, an additional charge of vandalism was dismissed and misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, assault, domestic violence threats, and menacing were to be dropped in Toledo Municipal Court.

Judge McDonald ordered that Bond have no contact with Ms. Rodriguez and that he pay her restitution for the damage to her house. The judge also ordered that Bond s probation be transferred to Kansas, where he said his brother is a town mayor and promised to help him find work.

Contact Erica Blake at:eblake@theblade.comor 419-213-2134.



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