BUCYRUS — Jason M. Tupps, 43, of Galion appeared in Crawford County Common Pleas Court on Monday with attorney Adam Stone.
Tupps, a Crawford County corrections officer, was charged in a six-count indictment. The charges resulted from an incident that occurred July 9. Charges included improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and abduction, a third-degree felony. He also was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using weapons while intoxicated, aggravated menacing, and assured clear distance, all first-degree misdemeanors.
According to reports, Tupps called 911 and told a dispatcher that a woman had rammed his vehicle and attempted to flee. During the 911 call, Tupps told the dispatcher he had the woman at gunpoint and requested back-up from the Galion Police Department. He can be heard on the 911 tape repeatedly warning the woman that, if she moved, he would shoot her. He refused to participate in field sobriety tests and yelled and cursed at officers.
During the arrest, a 40-caliber handgun and 45 rounds of ammunition were found. Officers also found a metal vial which contained a white power-like substance. The vial was submitted for further testing.
Tupps had posted bond in municipal court and Stone asked the court to either continue the bond or release Tupps on a personal recognizance bond. Judge Sean Leuthold heard from both the state and Stone before determining bond.
Prosecutor Matt Crall told the court that his office is under special scrutiny because of this case. He told the court that he accepted that scrutiny because he is expected to deal with these kinds of serious situations facing our society. Saying he would be remiss in not asking for a bond, he implored the court to set bond at $75,000. He also asked for conditions prohibiting Tupps from having any contact with the victim or law enforcement. He also asked for pre-trial drug and alcohol testing.
Stone had no objections to the conditions. He told the court his client had no prior criminal history, has lived in the area his whole life, worked at the sheriff’s office since he was 18 years old and that his father now had possession of all firearms Tupps owns. Stone also noted that Tupps has recently married and has strong ties to the community.
Leuthold said he faced a tough decision because while these are serious charges, Stone made a good argument for a personal recognizance bond.
“I’m going to hold Mr. Tupps to the same standard as I would any other defendant, “Leuthold said. “I’m going to call this case right down the middle.”
Leuthold granted the personal recognizance bond but laid down serious conditions for Tupps. He warned Tupps to have no contact with the victim, no contact with law enforcement, no calls, letters, texts, or social media use with the victim or law enforcement and no consumption of drugs or alcohol.
Leuthold appointed Eric Bohach to oversee Tupps during the proceedings. He also ordered a drug and alcohol assessment to be done immediately.
“Mr. Bohach will oversee this personally, and I am telling you, Mr. Tupps, if you violate any one of the conditions, I will revoke your bail and you will sit in jail until this matter is concluded,” Leuthold said.