Perrysburg man incompetent to face assault charge

A Perrysburg man accused of assault has been found incompetent.

A hearing via Zoom was held Tuesday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.

Theodore Whittaker, 62, appeared from Heritage Village of Waterville, a lock-down care facility.

“Mr. Whittaker lacks capability to understand the nature and objective of the proceedings against him and he suffers from mental illness in the form of an unspecified neurocognitive disorder, PTSD with dissociative symptoms and an unspecified anxiety disorder,” Reger said.

Based on a court diagnostic report, Whittaker was not competent and was unlikely to obtain competency and he will be remanded to inpatient restoration, Reger said.

His wife, Teresa, told the judge last month that Whittaker had severe dementia. He has been at the care facility since October.

Whittaker was indicted in August for felonious assault, a second-degree felony.

On May 24 on Truman Road in Perrysburg, he allegedly attempted to stab another man. A witness told police Whittaker had grabbed the alleged victim from a chair, threw him to the ground and struck him several times in the face and chest.

The alleged victim went outside and had a seizure. Whittaker allegedly followed and stabbed at him. The alleged victim was transported to Mercy-St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Toledo by Troy Township EMS.

Teresa Whittaker told the judge that her husband was doing very well in the structured environment at Heritage.

“I think that probably the best thing for him is to stay where he’s at,” she said.

Reger said usually he would place the defendant in the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo for appropriate treatment.

“I don’t know if I can say whether or not that’s the best facility for Mr. Whittaker,” he said.

Not knowing if Heritage can provide the same services, he ordered Whittaker be sent to the psychiatric hospital in Toledo. However, the court will contact the hospital to see if accommodations can be reached so Whittaker can stay at Heritage and still be subject to the required evaluations, Reger said.

Upon hearing about the possible move, Whittaker became visibly upset.

An evaluation must be done every six months, Reger said, and the court has specific rules it must abide by as they relate to state statutes.

“The court is going to try to follow those standards, but try to accommodate your specific needs and hopefully keep you at the Heritage Village center,” Reger said.

Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Anderson said if Heritage can’t be compliant with the statute, the defendant can’t stay there.

According to Raeschel Mullins, director of social services at Heritage, the center has secured doors at the entrance, cameras in each hall, and the residents cannot come and go as they please.

The court will maintain jurisdiction of the case for a maximum of eight years. Whittaker can only be released from Heritage on the order of the court.