Ohio Grandfather of 13 Nearly Shot by Courthouse Security
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Ohio Grandfather of 13 Nearly Shot by Courthouse Security Guard Who Knew He Was Unarmed

Readers and activists throughout central Ohio have been following the recent arrest of Mike Skidmore, a PINAC journalist and local correspondent on assignment for the Ashland Free Press.

When Mike Skidmore asked his county commissioners to hold a meeting about private security practices, he never expected courthouse security to assault him during that very meeting in a video you can see here.

This courthouse security guard fired his weapon at Mike Skidmore with his eyes shut after causing a scuffle attempting to unlawfully snatch Mike's recording device.

This courthouse security guard fired his weapon at Mike Skidmore after causing a scuffle attempting to unlawfully snatch Mike’s recording device. It appears that his eyes were shut when he fired.

The very same courthouse guard – which sources tell PINAC is a former sheriff’s deputy – who manned the front door and determined that Skidmore did not carry any firearms, later discharged his weapon with intent to kill at point-blank range.

In May, Skidmore encountered the same security agency (videos at bottom), whose personnel refused to reveal their identity within the courthouse they guarded, as county employees attempted to intimidate Skidmore into ceasing recording activities.

That incident ended when security did the right thing, and backed down, respecting Mike’s right to record his public officials, in their place of work performing their public duties.

It’s unknown if these security guards file any form of incident report themselves, but the police report neglects to mention the armed assailant, the gunshot discharge or the fact that the suspect was unarmed. In fact, close examination of the video shows that the security officers seemed elated saying that now they “had him” to Skidmore, claiming – conveniently as the police later charged without reviewing this footage – that it was a Felonious Assault.

The stunning turn of events seems to throw into question the security guards’ intent entering the room and wordlessly attempting to seize the personal property of a citizen journalist meeting with his elected officials to speak about private security arrangements.

A felonious assault charge usually requires “serious physical harm” if a weapon isn’t used.

Also, isn’t it a felonious assault to improperly discharge a firearm in a public meeting?

Behind the camera with citizen journalist Mike Skidmore

We wanted to take the opportunity to tell the reading audience about Mike Skidmore.  The 58- year-old, lifelong resident of Ohio is currently being held on what this journal considers excessive bail in the amount of $100,000 in Richland County’s lockup, curiously on the charge of Felonious Assault.

Mike Skidmore is a grandfather, a retired corrections officer with 30 years service at the nearby Richland Correctional Institution and before that served his country as a US Marine stationed in Okinawa, before his honorable discharge.

He’s also a stickler for the proper identification of public officials, and others who might use special authority, but seek to hide their identification.

While often times police attempt to illegally demand identification from citizens, they’re required to display and provide identification while in the line of duty at nearly all times when requested by the public.

Anyone viewing the video in this PINAC story about Mike Skidmore, can see that he’s still in great shape for a grandfather of 13.

Anyone who knows Mike, knows his twisted sense of humor too.

Mike Skidmore, Linkedin Profile

That wry sense of humor that encouraged Mike to create a profile on Linkedin declaring himself a Clown Reporter-writer, after PINAC encouraged everyone in our virtual newsroom to be better citizen journalists by creating public profiles across social media platforms to for the sake of clear digital identity.

According to his son-in-law Scott Laug, who’s also his next door neighbor:

“Mike has done so much for our family. He has 13 grandkids and 10 of them or from his daughter and I . We homeschool our 10 kids and he is a very big part of that.

He teaches them from memory reading and math everyday during school . He is always serving his family in all aspects he is a great man and is well loved.”

To listen to the rest of the interview with Scott Laug, click here.

Anyone who’s commented on this site’s stories or Facebook page is likely to have encountered Mike’s many memes, his love of commentary, and his avid, often long time format video posts on local government matters on Youtube.

While you can’t see Mike’s face behind the camera in this youtube video, it sure sounds like he’s asking these local police officers for their name, badge number and IDs with a smile. It’s sarcastic title notes the officers’ lack of name badges. One of the bike cops forgot his identification altogether too.

It’s stunning to believe that Mike Skidmore, probably the most mild mannered out of our entire newsroom group could be held on such a staggering amount of bail, with a further directive for ankle bracelet monitoring and a courthouse ban.

What’s the flight risk of a man who is married to the same woman for 40 years, serves 30 years as a prison guard in the immediate community, served in our US Marines, and serves the education of his many grandchildren.

Seems to me like the real risk is Mike Skidmore exercising his First Amendment rights to petition his government, to record and to later speak and publish about the government’s decisions.



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