Competitive fishermen face criminal charges over tournament cheating allegations


Two anglers accused of stuffing fish with lead weights and fillets in an try and win hundreds of {dollars} in an Ohio fishing tournament had been indicted Wednesday on charges of tried grand theft and different counts.

Jacob Runyan, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominski, 35, of Hermitage, Pa., had been indicted in Cleveland on felony charges of cheating, tried grand theft, possessing criminal instruments and misdemeanor charges of unlawfully proudly owning wild animals. They’re as a consequence of be arraigned Oct. 26.

Neither man instantly responded to voicemails searching for remark.

The cheating allegations surfaced on Sept. 30 when Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament director Jason Fischer turned suspicious as a result of Runyan and Cominski’s fish had been considerably heavier than walleye of that size sometimes are. A crowd of individuals at Gordon Park in Cleveland watched Fischer reduce the walleye open and announce that there have been weights and walleye fillets stuffed inside.

An officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confiscated the fish as proof.

Fischer additionally didn’t instantly return a phone name searching for remark.

Runyan and Cominski would have obtained $28,760 US in prizes for profitable the tournament.

According to go looking warrant affidavits, the 5 walleye contained a complete of eight 12-ounce (.34 kilogram) lead weights and two eight-ounce (.23 kilogram) weights, in addition to the fish fillets. Officers from ODNR, the Hermitage Police Department and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission seized a ship, trailer and fishing gear belonging to Cominski on Tuesday in Pennsylvania. The anglers had used the boat throughout final month’s tournament, the affidavits mentioned.

One of the affidavits disclosed that Runyan and Cominski had been investigated by Rossford police in northwest Ohio in April after being accused of cheating in a unique walleye tournament. According to a Rossford police report, an assistant Wood County prosecutor concluded that though the lads might have cheated, there was not sufficient proof to cost them.


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