GALLIPOLIS — A central Ohio man was convicted Tuesday in the Gallia County Court of Common Pleas for the assault of an EMS medic, as well as failure to appear for a previously scheduled trial and the obstruction of official business.
Michael Huckleby, 30, of Powell, was originally arrested in December of last year for an incident on Market Street in Bidwell, where he reportedly spit on one individual and shoved an EMS medic who was attempting to treat a pair of individuals overdosing on opioids.
As stated by the Tribune in previous stories, Gallia County EMS left the area after reporting challenges to treating the potential patients with Huckleby’s interference. Deputies arrived and attempted to de-escalate the situation. When deputies arrived, the homeowner of the address informed the deputies that she had placed the two overdosed individuals in her vehicle and would be heading to the hospital.
According to reports, Huckleby kept demanding that someone owed him $800 for drug purchases. When officers asked if he sold heroin, Huckleby replied he sold only crack cocaine. No drugs were discovered on Huckleby during the extent of his dealings with Gallia police.
Due to the nature of the crime, Huckleby was charged with fourth-degree felony assault. In the Ohio Revised Code, assault carries a higher penalty when assaulting a first responder attempting to do their job.
Huckleby was again arrested when he failed to appear at the designated time for his trial in June and was charged with obstruction of official business. Normally, the crime is a misdemeanor. According to Gallia Assistant Prosecutor Eric Mulford, in this case it was a felony because of creating a risk of physical harm to a deputy when Huckleby was taken into custody for a failing to appear in court. Huckleby refused to cooperate with the booking process in the Gallia County Jail and after officers could not talk him into cooperating, Huckleby reportedly got into a physical confrontation with officers. Mulford said because the cell was small and because the fixtures in the cell were metal justice officials felt that was a risk of physical harm to the officer and related in the obstruction of official business.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see the great work that our county EMS employees do, sometimes under difficult situations,” said Mulford. “So it’s gratifying to know that we were able to get some justice for them in this case. I’m pleased that the jury aggre with us that the defendant should be held accountable for assaulting the EMT.”
Huckleby also reportedly faced charges of vandalism for destroying county property in the form of damaging a bunk and a toilet in the jail.
On top of the assault charge, the failure to appear charge is considered a fourth-degree felony, obstructing official business is a fifth-degree felony and so is vandalism.
Huckleby’s sentencing will be Tuesday at 9 a.m. He could potentially receive a max of a five year prison sentence in a state facility.
“This defendant came from Powell and has been nothing but trouble ever since,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “Emergency personnel respond in the most serious situations to lend life-saving support and should never be hindered in their job and absolutely never assaulted. The defendant’s actions against the EMS worker and the corrections staff in the jail have been deplorable since day one. Next week at sentencing, I will be asking the court to impose the maximum prison sentence.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.