Mugshot for Ohio Republican state representative Bob Young. Photo by Summit County Sheriff’s Office, WEWS background.
State Rep. Bob Young (R-Green) allegedly struck his wife and later followed her to his brother’s house, where Young allegedly instigated a fight with him, according to a Summit County Sheriff’s report released Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Young’s lawyer confirmed to OCJ/WEWS that his client will not be resigning, in spite of calls from his colleagues to do so.
Young was charged Saturday with domestic violence and disrupting public services, according to Barberton Municipal Court records. Young faces two first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charges and a fourth-degree felony charge of disrupting public service.
According to a Summit County Sheriff’s Office report, Young was arguing with a friend at his home around 1 a.m. Friday when his wife Tina stuck her hand up in front of his face to “stop him from yelling.” The lawmaker then grabbed her arm and struck her face with an open hand during the argument, the report states. She threatened to call the police, but Young took her phone and threw it into the pool, according to the report.
The report states a friend at the home witnessed the altercation, but Tina would not disclose to authorities who the friend was.
One hour later, Young’s wife arrived at the home of her brother-in-law, Michael. She went there to “seek safe haven” with her kids, according to the report.
Young’s brother saw the lawmaker pull into the driveway and park in front of his house, the report states. He went outside and told Young that he was not welcome and was not allowed to enter the house. Young then “lowered his shoulder and charged” in an attempt to enter the home without permission, according to authorities.
At the point of initial contact, “a scuffle ensued,” according to the report. Michael defended himself and pushed back on Young, and the lawmaker went through the glass storm door, the report states. Both men sustained injuries.
Young’s wife and his brother completed a domestic violence written statement, with his spouse requesting a temporary protection order and a victim’s rights request/waiver form.
Michael declined to complete the request for a temporary protection order, but the deputy completed it “on his behalf,” the report said.
Young was in court Saturday and later released on a $5,000 bond. His mugshot was also taken.
OCJ/WEWS reached out to Young, and his attorney called back, saying he didn’t have a comment at this time. However, he did note that he hadn’t received many of the documents yet, so he was going to wait. He said he may speak about it at a later date.
‘After a couple of hours, I left his home’
Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) told OCJ/WEWS he was a special guest at a fundraiser held by Young on Thursday night, hours before the domestic violence incident allegedly occurred.
“Last week, I attended his fundraiser, and then afterward went to his home with friends and his family,” Stephens told OCJ/WEWS on Sunday. “After a couple of hours, I left his home and spent the night at a local hotel.”
Stephens added in a statement the alleged incident occurred after he left the home.
“I was disappointed and shocked to hear what allegedly transpired sometime after I had left the Young house,” he said.
OCJ/WEWS reached out to Stephens and his team after receiving the sheriff’s report on Tuesday and asked the speaker to clarify his timeline based on these additional details. The unnamed friend is not Stephens, a spokesperson for the House GOP said.
“Although I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, I asked Bob for his resignation as state representative so he can focus on his family at this time,” Stephens said in his original statement to OCJ/WEWS on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Young’s attorney John Greven told OCJ/WEWS the lawmaker would not be resigning.
State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) was glad to hear the speaker asked for Young’s resignation.
“People need to know that justice is being carried out no matter if you are a state legislator like myself or this everyday person — people have to be able to see that justice is occurring and no one should have to deal with domestic violence,” Brent said.
State Rep. Josh Williams (R-Oregon) said it seemed premature. Williams is an attorney.
“I don’t want to jump the gun as it pertains to Rep. Young,” Williams said. “As a defense attorney, I want my client to have the benefit of innocent until proven guilty.”
Who is Bob Young?
Young represents the southern portions of Summit County. Taking office in 2021, the lawmaker works across the aisle on bills relating to finances. He is the chair of the Pensions Committee but also runs a small business in Akron.
He is currently married and has children.
Young is currently serving his second term in the House.
Young is also being sued by a former House competitor. An ad that Young and the Ohio GOP created accused the Democratic opponent of being guilty of domestic abuse. The rival has not been charged or convicted of domestic violence.
“It is ironic,” Williams said. “I don’t like attack ads that go down that realm.”
It wasn’t just ironic for Williams — but also for the opponent Matt Shaughnessy.
“I’m actually saddened to hear of these allegations. Is it ironic that the guy who accused me of being guilty of domestic violence? Absolutely,” Shaughnessy said. “But domestic violence always has victims, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Young’s family right now.”
Shaughnessy is seeking in excess of a million dollars in both general and punitive damages, he said.
Domestic violence prevention
Ohio lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to prevent domestic violence following the arrest of their colleague.
Brent and state Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) are reintroducing a bill to combat domestic violence in response to the allegations against Young, she said. It would give additional training to police on how to detect abuse.
This bill is the remnant of Aisha’s Law — a bill named after Aisha Fraser — that would provide more protections for domestic violence survivors.
Fraser was the Shaker Heights teacher killed in November 2018 by her ex-husband, Lance Mason, a former Cuyahoga County judge and state legislator. Mason was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years.
Only part of the bill was passed in the previous General Assembly.
“We cannot keep talking about prayers and responses for those affected by domestic violence,” Brent said. “The state of Ohio needs to make that change and pass this law.”
This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
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