ROSSFORD — DNA found on a ball cap led to an arrest in the auto vandalism spree that damaged more than 130 cars in Perrysburg and Rossford.
Ryan Patrick Carter, 43, Toledo, has confessed to vandalizing seven vehicles in Rossford on June 7, according to Police Chief Todd Kitzler.
Rossford police also estimate he vandalized more than 130 vehicles in Perrysburg on the same day.
“He left his ball cap at one of the crime scenes in Eagle Point Colony. We collected it, sent it in for DNA and got a hit on it,” Kitzler said on Tuesday. “This sort of thing doesn’t happen often with DNA, but when it does, it should probably make the news. If it weren’t for the thoroughness of our officers, we would have never had the lead to charge him.”
The Oakley ball cap was submitted for DNA testing at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation office on the Bowling Green State University campus.
“All we could charge him with was a misdemeanor — criminal damaging,” Kitzler said. “We received a hit notification on the DNA from the hat on Sept. 1. Carter was arrested by Toledo Police Department for felonious assault on the same day as our crimes. His DNA went into CODIS due to that arrest.”
Kitzler said Rossford Prosecutor Gina Wasserman is charging Carter with one count for the seven vehicles, because of possible restitution on all seven if he is convicted.
The initial estimate in Perrysburg was approximately 80 vehicles with scratches, mostly in the vehicle hood, with very similar images.
Carter is charged with vandalizing a 2006 Jeep, a 2010 Honda sedan,a 2009 Chevrolet van, a 2004 Oldsmobile station wagon, a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado pickup, 2018 Dodge 1500 pickup and a 2021 GMC Acadia SUV.
Kitzler said that Carter was charged by TPD with a felonious assault that had been committed in Lucas County on the Chessie Circle Trail, near Anthony Wayne Trail, the day before committing the vandalism in Rossford and Perrysburg. The victim was wearing a helmet, but was hit in the head five times, had his head hit against the ground three times and sustained a laceration in the face that required stitches.
Carter was indicted June 16 for felonious assault. A bond of $75,000 was posted July 26.
Carter was found competent to stand trial on Nov. 21 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, Kitzler said. On Dec. 15, his defense attorney entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and asked his client’s mental state be evaluated.