MARK CENTER — One man is in custody following an alleged drug-related episode Tuesday night in which he randomly drove vehicles into a house and several buildings northwest of here, causing severe damage to the property.
Cody Bell, 26, Hicksville, was arrested by the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office late Tuesday at 08648 Scholl Road and charged with aggravated burglary, a second-degree felony.
He was taken by Hicksville Fire and Rescue to Community Memorial Hospital in Hicksville to be medically cleared, according to Sheriff Doug Engel, before being taken to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.
Bell waived his right to a preliminary hearing this morning during a hearing in Defiance Municipal Court and was bound over to a Defiance County grand jury. Judge John Rohrs III set bond at $150,000 cash with a 10 percent surety allowance.
According to Engel, property owners Frank and Mary Bailey arrived home Tuesday night at their residence on Scholl Road — a sparsely populated, mile-long road between Wonderly and Breininger roads in Mark Township — to find their property virtually destroyed.
They called authorities around 10:15 p.m., and did not enter the ranch-style home, Engel explained.
When deputies arrived, he noted, they searched the residence and found Bell unconscious on a bed.
The sheriff described the home, which had been ransacked, as “uninhabitable.” Besides the home, a barn, out buildings and several other vehicles were severely damaged.
Engel said Bell — who allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine — drove a vehicle he did not own into buildings and property, then took a pickup at the residence and rammed it into the front of the house.
While the front of the home showed prominent signs of vehicle damage, the back was worse, with siding ripped off in one area, windows broken out and debris strewn throughout the yard.
The property’s yard also was full of tire tracks indicating repeated efforts to ram the home and other property.
“This is one of the more severe drug-related incidents that we’ve had in the county,” said Engel. “There’s no relationship with the property owners — none at all. They were unknown to each other. It was just a random house that he (Bell) chose to destroy. It’s a total senseless crime, due to his intoxication from the narcotics.”
Authorities were familiar with Bell, who has been in trouble “all his life as a juvenile,” according to Engel. “He has a long history.”
Bell was convicted in December 2014 in Defiance County Common Pleas Court of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs (methamphetamine), a third-degree felony.
He was sentenced to a 30-month prison term, but granted early release in 2015 before violating terms of community in 2016 and 2017. He had been sent back to prison in 2017 to serve the balance of his term.
Bell also has numerous convictions on misdemeanor charges in Defiance Municipal Court. A search for his name in court records shows more than 30 entries for criminal and traffic offenses.
Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by the Hicksville Police Department during Tuesday’s incident, which remains under investigation.
Defiance County Prosecutor Morris Murray said the case will be presented to a county grand jury later this month or in early August. Numerous other charges are likely, according to Engel.