The Lekan Incident

John Lekan was an eccentric. Eccentrics can easily get on the wrong side of government officials.

Lekan, 54, lived with his wife Beverly, 49, and their son John Jr., 9, in Brunswick, Ohio. Lekan, a veteran, was disabled; his wife suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.

A Medina County Human Services Department health aide apparently did not care for Lekan's habit of carrying a loaded firearm at home for self-defense. The health aide told Mrs. Lekan that the police would be accompanying her on her next visit.

This is the first point at which government officials crossed the line of individual rights. Being eccentric is not a crime. Carrying a firearm at home is not a crime and in fact is protected by the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Neither eccentricity nor gun ownership is enough to warrant police action.

At 3 p.m. Friday, March 31, 1995, two Brunswick police officers arrived at the Lekan home. Officer Sam Puzella knocked on the door. When Lekan refused to let them in, Puzella kicked in the door.

This is the second point at which government officials violated Lekan's rights. At this point, there was no suspicion that anyone was in immediate danger, nor was there a search or arrest warrant enabling the officers to enter the property.

When the door was kicked in, Lekan's eccentricity turned violent. Lekan shot Puzella in the chest. The police retreated. Puzella was airlifted to a hospital. At 8:30 p.m., police attempted to rush the Lekan home. Lekan shot two more police.

At this point the police began a siege of Lekan's home. The neighborhood was evacuated; gas, electric, telephone, water service and street lights were shut off; cameras were installed to see into the interior of the home; four SWAT teams, 300 law enforcement personnel, 200 fire fighters and two Armored Personnel Carriers converged at the site.

Police began pumping water at a rate of 1,000 gallons per minute into Lekan's basement to try to flood him out.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1, the APCs broke through the garage door, east wall and backyard patio doors of the Lekan home, inserting tear gas. Reports indicate that at this point Lekan and his son died of single gunshot wounds to the head, ruled a murder-suicide by Medina County coroner Dr. Neil Grabenstetter.

At 10:15 a.m. Sunday, April 2, police fired more tear gas through broken windows, entered the house through a window, found Mrs. Lekan and brought her out the house. SWAT team members entered the Lekan home, and four hours later emerged with the bodies of Lekan and his son.

The bodies were found in the bathroom with a gas mask, two acetylene oxygen tanks, a 10-gauge shotgun, a .27 caliber rifle and ammunition for both weapons.

The above information was taken from a message posted by E Pluribus Unum, a Patriot group in central Ohio. E Pluribus Unum obtained their information from "(1) eyewitness accounts, (2) media accounts, (3) law enforcement personnel, (4) testimony of public officials at the Brunswick Safety Meeting of April 5, 1995 (5) Pictures we took of the remains of Mr. Lekan's home (6) Transmissions on police scanners."