MOUNT VERNON — Thomas Hartless, Utica, is being held in Licking County on a probation violation. But he is facing more serious charges in Knox County — kidnapping.
Hartless was originally charged on July 24 with assault on his ex-girlfriend.
Hartless was picked up at the Knox County Fair on Wednesday by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office based on a report by his probation officer that he was in violation of his probation in Licking County. The sheriff’s office turned Hartless over to the Utica police. The probation violation was based on the assault charges filed against Hartless in Knox County. Hartless posted bond on the assault charges in Mount Vernon Municipal Court and was released.
According to Sgt. William Kofod of the Utica Police Department, Hartless is being held at the Licking County Justice Center.
Hartless denied the Knox County allegations at a probation violation hearing Thursday afternoon in Newark. His bond was set at $25,000 by Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins, and a second-stage hearing will be set.
On Thursday, the assault charge against Hartless in the Mount Vernon Municipal Court was dismissed. In the motion to dismiss, Assistant City Law Director Robert Broeren noted that the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office had charged Hartless with felony kidnapping and the misdemeanor assault charge was dismissed in favor of the kidnapping charge. After reviewing the evidence against Hartless, the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office filed felony kidnapping charges against Hartless on Thursday.
Because the case is pending, the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office would only confirm that Hartless was charged with felony kidnapping and he would be turned over to Knox County when Licking County finishes with the probation case against him.
The original complaint was made July 18. In the complaint, Hartless’ alleged victim accusses him of holding her against her will overnight in Coshocton County. She also charged him with punching, kicking and choking her in Knox County. She asked for and received a temporary order of protection through Mount Vernon Municipal Court. The request was granted and filed July 21.
The kidnapping against Hartless case will be presented to the next sitting of the grand jury.