WARREN - A 79-year old man whose neighbors describe him as a one-man blockwatch was recovering from non-life-threatening injuries Monday after police fired upon him Sunday night after the man reportedly drew a gun on officers.
Michael Lardis of 414 Parkman Road S.W. was taken from his home after a standoff with police that began earlier in the evening when he fired a pellet gun at a car as it pulled out of his neighbor's driveway.
Police were called to the home about 10 p.m. and said Lardis refused to answer his door.
''At that point we considered him a barricaded suspect and called for the Crisis Response Team,'' police Chief Tim Bowers said. ''The suspect was seen pointing a gun at the officers at the rear of the house. He failed to respond to the officers' commands and shots were fired.''
Bowers did not specify Lardis' injuries but he talked with the man Monday morning at the hospital. No charges have been filed.
The chief said he was preparing a news release for sometime today.
Bowers said two agents with Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation were called in and the officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave - which is protocol. The chief declined to identify or say how many officers were on leave.
Amanda Lynch, whose home is behind and one house north of 414 Parkman Road, said Lardis was sitting on his back porch with a gun shortly before police were called.
"A friend of a friend of mine's mother drove up, talked to us, and as she was backing out, he fired at her car," Lynch said. "My friend thought it was a shotgun so she called the police."
When the police arrived, Lardis went into his house and began shutting off his lights, Lynch said.
"I was petrified," Lynch said. "I was scared out of my wits. I heard gun shots and I immediately cut of all of my lights and shut my curtains. I didn't want no movement in my house."
Lynch quickly moved her children out of their bedroom.
"My walls are not insulated," she said. "Bullets could easily go through its walls. I wanted them out of harm's way.
"I've seen him with guns before. I've seen him point the guns at teenagers," Lynch said.
Kelly Brooks, who was with Lynch on Sunday, said her mother lives next to Lardis. "I called my brothers, saying, 'The old man has gone nuts again.'''
Brooks said Lardis harassed her family during much of the two years that she has lived in the neighborhood.
Both Brooks and Lynch showed windows in their homes in which they claim BB gun pellets were shot at the houses on previous occasions.
"It is not just my house," Brooks said. "He has done this to others."
Mary Wiseman, who was visiting Brooks, described Lardis pointing a shotgun at her while she was standing in Brooks' driveway.
"I went into the house and called the police," Wiseman said. "I was scared. I didn't know what he was going to do."
Several neighbors said they received handwritten letters from someone telling them to clean up their yards and warning them about drugs and prostitution in the area. Lardis' name was not on the letters, but they believe he is the source of the letters.
On the back porch of 414 Parkman S.W. is a sign that reads: "Caution: Firearms in Use. Keep Out."
Zach Henderson, who lives just south of Lardis on Parkman Road, said the man previously waved guns at people.
"He pulled one on a 16-year-old girl and her mother about a year ago," he said. "A lot of the kids around here are scared of him."
In August 2011, Lardis was charged with aggravated menacing for pulling a small handgun on a girl and her mother, Tanya Hill, who lived at 916 Union S.W. He pleaded no contest, was fined $250 and given a 180-day day suspended jail sentence.
The reporting officer on that call noted "officers have been called several times to Mr. Lardis' home for him having guns, threatening the neighborhood."
Lardis had a concealed carry permit.
Lardis has had nine cases filed against him in Warren Municipal court since the mid-1990s. Six were traffic related, two menacing and one a health department charge. He has only been convicted of the 2011 menacing case involving Hill.
In recent months, Lardis has filed numerous complaints with police, including a call in April in which he reported neighbors were throwing cans of food at him, a report that his back door being kicked in March and a report in February of sirens being blown near his home.
Mike Shank, who lives several houses down from Lardis, described him as a one-man neighborhood watch who wants to return the area to the safe neighborhood of his youth.
"He is trying to scare off the drug dealers and the prostitutes," Shank said.