BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Campbell man was arrested on a gun charge Thursday while a Youngstown man who was charged with stealing a catalytic converter will face an escape charge after leaving St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Dessie Howell, 30, of Jean Street in Campbell, was booked into the Mahoning County jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of cocaine.
Leslie James Tate, 35, of North Belle Vista Avenue in Youngstown, is charged with felony theft and faces an additional felony charge of escape once he is caught.
Reports said police were called about 10:20 a.m. to a 220 Boardman Canfield Road restaurant for the theft of a catalytic converter. Witnesses told police a man was seen underneath someone’s car, then he ran away.
Police walked in the direction where the man ran and found a white bag that had tools and a catalytic converter inside, but they could not find anyone matching the description of the person who took the converter, reports said.
A short time later, about 12:35 p.m., police were called to the 7000 block of Locust Drive by residents who said a man who fit the description of the person who took the converter was knocking on doors asking if anyone had seen a bag he had lost. Neighbors told police the man was going door to door asking about the bag.
Reports said police stopped a car with four people inside, one of them Tate, and Howell was a passenger. Reports said when Howell was asked to get out of the car, he was seen fidgeting in his seat. When police checked where he was sitting, they found a loaded handgun, reports said.
Reports said the man whose car was tampered with was driven to the scene and identified Tate as the person who took his converter. The jail refused to admit him because of a leg infection, reports said.
Reports said while at the hospital, Tate was warned he would be charged with escape if he left. However, Boardman police were told about 10 p.m. Tate walked out of the hospital.
Howell is not allowed to have a gun because of a guilty plea in 2015 to a felony count of theft in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.