Scioto county home invasions end badly...for the criminals

More residents say they're keeping guns for home security

by Chad D. Baus

A series of home invasions in Ohio's Scioto County have turned out very badly for the perpetrators, and more residents say they are keeping guns loaded and ready for home security, saying it's either shoot or be shot.

In the first case, a man broke into the home of a former Scioto County Sheriff. From The Portsmouth Daily-Times:

The Portsmouth Police Department is investigating a break-in at the home of former Scioto County Sheriff James Sutterfield.

About 1:02 p.m. Thursday, police say an intruder entered Sutterfield’s home, where he was shot and then fled the residence.

Police say the intruder was found and transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center for treatment.

The identity of the intruder had not been released Thursday afternoon, pending notification of family members.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Sutterfield, 64, served as Scioto County Sheriff from 1993-1997.

One of the suspects from two other home invasions is also now nursing serious gun shot wound.

From WSAZ, Huntington, WV's NBC affiliate, in a report entitled "Man Shot During Home Invasion; Names Released":

They looked like ninja assassins -- all in black, wearing masks and toting guns.

It's the second time this week we've heard that description after another home invasion in Scioto County.
Also, another victim shot an armed intruder. We're learning more and more people have guns, loaded and ready for home security, saying it's either shoot or be shot.

Monday's home invasion was in the city of Portsmouth, while Friday morning's violent encounter was way out in the country. Again, pain pills were the invaders' target.

Bart Stevens told us the door shot open, and there were two guns in his face. He said it was about 3:30 a.m. when the two masked men burst into his mother's home along Mercer-Cox Road.

He says the intruders held six people in the home at gunpoint, and went straight for the powerful fentanyl and oxycodone prescribed to terminally ill cancer patient Chester Spradlin.

"They were here to get my father-in-law’s medicine," Stevens said.

Stevens says as the two men were hauling out a makeshift safe, he grabbed this hidden shotgun and told them to stop, then, the one with the pistol turned, and he fired.

Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini thinks the injured suspect, Mark Vandyke, who's 40 and from Piketon, Ohio, may lose his leg.

Donini says after the shooting, the second intruder, Mark Cox, ran away. And he says the getaway car driver must also have heard the shot because he drove away without taking anyone with him.

A few hours later, reports of a man walking down Ohio Route 348 with a rifle prompted deputies to follow snowy footprints and arrest Cox, who's 30 and from the area.

Stevens says after shooting the intruder, he pulled off his mask and saw it was a longtime bar room acquaintance. Donini says they're either drug users or dealers, but they're hitting people that they know and using weapons.

Vandyke is a patient at Grant Hospital in Columbus, while Cox is in the Scioto County Jail.

Portsmouth Police say two men wearing all black with guns and masks invaded a home along Walnut Street on Monday.

Are they the same? The two departments are still comparing notes.

Donini has solid leads on getting the getaway car driver.

The report concludes by noting that all of the suspects will be charged with aggravated armed robbery.

Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, who represents parts of Scioto County, is a long-time friend of Buckeye Firearms Association. Schmidt recently told The Cincinnati Enquirer, which reported that she and her husband, took their concealed carry class in October 2005, that "You just never know if I'm packing or not packing."

Under Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, if someone unlawfully enters an occupied home or temporary habitation, or occupied car, citizens have an initial presumption that they may act in self defense, and will not be second-guessed by the State.

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