comscore Fishermen plead not guilty to charges in Ohio tournament scandal
Sports Breaking | Top News

Fishermen plead not guilty to charges in Ohio tournament scandal

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Jacob Runyan, left, and Chase Cominsky, sit in court as they are arraigned, today, in Cleveland. The two pleaded not guilty to cheating and other charges in a lucrative fishing tournament on Lake Erie at the end of September where they were accused of stuffing five walleye with lead weights and fish filets.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Jacob Runyan, left, and Chase Cominsky, sit in court as they are arraigned, today, in Cleveland. The two pleaded not guilty to cheating and other charges in a lucrative fishing tournament on Lake Erie at the end of September where they were accused of stuffing five walleye with lead weights and fish filets.

CLEVELAND >> Two men accused of stuffing five walleye with lead weights and fish fillets during a lucrative fishing tournament on Lake Erie pleaded not guilty to cheating and other charges today.

Jacob Runyan, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, made no comments during their brief court appearances in Cleveland. Their attorneys declined to comment about the case after the hearing.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor James Gutierrez also declined to comment, referring questions to a spokesperson.

The cheating allegations surfaced Sept. 30 when Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament director Jason Fischer became suspicious because Runyan and Cominsky’s fish were significantly heavier than walleye of that length typically are. An angry crowd at Gordon Park in Cleveland watched Fischer cut the walleye open and announce there were weights and fish fillets stuffed inside them.

An officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confiscated the fish as evidence.

Runyan and Cominsky were indicted earlier this month on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft, possessing criminal tools and misdemeanor charges of unlawfully owning wild animals.

Both were released today on personal bonds of $2,500.

The first-place prize in the tournament totaled around $28,000.

Comments (6)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up