Michael Gravelle accused of domestic violence

Date: 2010-07-25

SANDUSKY - Clarksfield Township resident Michael Gravelle faces a May 5 trial in Sandusky Municipal Court in connection with hitting his wife Monday. The alleged domestic violence occured during a dispute over some tools. The couple made international headlines for having some of their 11 adopted children sleep in cages.

Cary Ashby

SANDUSKY - Clarksfield Township resident Michael Gravelle faces a May 5 trial in Sandusky Municipal Court in connection with hitting his wife Monday.

The alleged domestic violence occured during a dispute over some tools. The couple made international headlines for having some of their 11 adopted children sleep in cages.

The dispute began when Sharen Gravelle came to work at a Cleveland Road business Monday morning and found “a large number of tools” which belonged to her deceased father on a table to be auctioned. She told the auctioneer she was taking the items back. The items had been brought in by her husband, who also worked there, Sandusky Police Officer Major Ruffin III wrote in his report.

Michael Gravelle approached his wife after she loaded the items into her van and as she was about to go inside to retrieve her coat.

“Mrs. Gravelle advised that while her back was turned from him, Mr. Gravelle grabbed her with his right arm and swung her around. Mr. Gravelle then threw a punch at Mrs. Gravelle’s chin,” Ruffin wrote.

“Mrs. Gravelle pulled away from the punch and states she was only slightly chipped in the chin by the punch. The punch did strike her in the shoulder,” the officer continued.

Michael Gravelle, after being accused of shaking his wife, “stopped his assault when he observed a car pull into the parking lot,” Ruffin wrote.

The suspect was patted down, cuffed and placed in a cruiser after police arrived. He was charged with domestic violence and released after posting an undisclosed amount of bond.

“Mrs. Gravelle was worried about what her husband may do to her after he was released (from the station), so she was asked if she wished to file a temporary protection order. Mrs. Gravelle filled out the motion for the protection,” Ruffin wrote.

Police ordered Michael Gravelle to stay away from his wife until the matter was resolved.

Huron County Sheriff’s Sgt. Annette McLaughlin said she followed the suspect in his car to get some personal belongings from his home “shortly before noon” Tuesday. Michael Gravelle had gone to the sheriff’s office to request a deputy’s presence when he went to his St. John Road home.

McLaughlin said her role was “to keep the peace.” She noted what she did is what officers typically do for people involved in civil or temporary protection orders stemming from domestic violence cases.

“It was not anything special we did for the Gravelles,” she said. “There was no discussion between the two.”

Michael Gravelle gave no indication to McLaughlin where he would be staying.

Both the Gravelles are appealing a two-year, local prison term on multiple charges of child abuse and child endangerment. In late November, the couple lost custody of their 11 adopted children, some of whom slept in cage-like structures which also were used for punishment.

Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, one of Sharen’s friends told her after she came back from Wal-Mart she saw “all the lights she had on were now off,” Dispatcher Doris Sowards wrote in her report. The complainant suspected there was a prowler because she reported seeing someone inside with a flashlight. Two deputies responded and found all the doors were locked.

The couple’s attorneys could not be reached for comment.

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