Canfield man jailed for alleged Ohio University assault - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Canfield man jailed for alleged Ohio University assault

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ATHENS, Ohio -

A Canfield man, who was a student at Ohio University until a few days ago, is in jail after allegedly assaulting a university staff member.

OU police say James D. Howard was enrolled as a student at the university, but withdrew from classes on Monday, the same day police arrested him.

According to reports, the 25-year-old Youngstown Salem Road man entered a staff member's office Monday morning at the Bird Arena, shoved the staff member and attempted to punch him.

Police say Howard then left campus and told a friend that he was going to buy a gun.

OUPD obtained warrants for Howard's arrest and took him into custody Monday afternoon after he attempted to purchase a firearm in Logan, Ohio. Police also discovered Howard was purchasing ammunition for his shotgun.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said Howard's original charges of assault and aggravated trespassing, both misdemeanors, were replaced by felony charges.

Howard faces charges of burglary and having a weapon under disability. He is being held at Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville, Ohio, on a $100,000 bond.

Police say the burglary charge stems from Howard’s alleged assault of the staff member, while the weapons under disability charge results from his possession of a firearm after a previous involuntary admission to a mental health facility.

Together, the charges carry a maximum penalty of 13 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Howard has a scheduled preliminary hearing on Tuesday, but Blackburn said the case may be forwarded to a grand jury on Monday.

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