Firefighter jailed 30 days for assault of girlfriend

Mark McGuire

Avon Lake

Avon Lake firefighter-paramedic Mark McGuire has started to serve his nonconsecutive 30-day jail sentence for assaulting his girlfriend.

McGuire, 45, pleaded no contest Jan. 20 in Avon Lake Municipal Court to the first-degree misdemeanor charge of assault and second-degree charge of obstructing official business. Avon Lake police arrested McGuire Nov. 26, 2014, for the Oct. 14 assault of his girlfriend. Municipal court Judge Darrel Bilancini found him guilty of the charges and sentenced him to 90 days in jail, 60 of which were suspended pending McGuire’s compliance with one year of intensive supervised probation, and fined him $500. His sentence at Lorain County Jail began Jan. 29.

According to the police report, McGuire’s girlfriend, the victim, went to the police at 1:48 a.m. Oct. 14, 2014, to report the assault from earlier in the evening. The report states she had “a large swollen black and blue left eye.”

Though she refused to give the name and address of the person who assaulted her, she did tell police the person worked in the building, later admitting he was an Avon Lake

firefighter.

The victim told investigators she had been at the Breakwall on Lear Road when her boyfriend, McGuire, came into the bar at about 11 p.m. He took her cellphone and left to go home. She later stopped at his house, where they argued about the phone and he insulted her while checking her call history.

She then told police she picked up his phone, pointing out she should be able to look through his phone if he could look through hers.

“This apparently enraged him, and he sat up in bed and forced her head between his legs in a type of scissor leg hold and began to constrict her head and neck,” the report states. “(The victim) stated it was difficult to breathe as he tightened his legs.”

To try to escape the hold, she told police she then bit his thigh or buttocks area. When she began biting him, he punched her left eye, which caused her nose to bleed.

She left McGuire’s house on Hermann Drive and later came to the police station. She continued to refuse giving his name to the police, the report states. She did tell them there had been previous assaults but did not want anyone to get into trouble. Along with her black eye, she showed officers a red mark on her left forearm and a 6-inch abrasion on her lower back, both of which were the result of the altercation.

She told police she and her boyfriend had been together for nine years, but do not live together. The officers gave her a domestic violence form with names and listings for help.

Though she declined medical treatment at the station, she later sought treatment from Avon EMH. She then called the police at 5:25 a.m. to say doctors determined she had an orbital fracture.

Though she did not name him directly, police Chief Duane Streator said she gave enough information for investigators to determine McGuire was responsible for the assault. The obstruction charge is the result of McGuire telling police someone else had done it.

“We looked at it as we would any other case,” Streator said, referring to McGuire’s profession. “We collected the facts and passed them along to the prosecutor, who ultimately made the decision of what charges to file in the case.”

At this point, the city is determining how to handle McGuire’s two misdemeanor convictions. Mayor Greg Zilka and fire Chief Chris Huerner have been meeting with human resources Director Joe DeTillio to figure which of the city’s policies and how the union contract may apply. Zilka said he doesn’t believe the contract deals with misdemeanor convictions.

“We’re still looking at those policies and the contract to see what is appropriate,” Huerner said.

To his knowledge, Huerner said, McGuire’s jail sentence will not affect his job at the station. The sentence started Jan. 29, and McGuire has reported for duty on his days to work. Up until this point, he said, McGuire has been a good employee, firefighter and paramedic. McGuire has been with the department for years, he said, and he’s never had a problem with his colleagues, patients or the residents. However, he said, the department does not condone this, and he doesn’t want the public to think this is indicative of the department’s personnel.

DeTillio, who has McGuire’s file, was out of the office until Tuesday morning.

Contact Bryan Wroten at bwroten@2presspapers.com and @BryanWroten

 

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