Video: Ohio assistant fire chief attacks neighbor over dispute involving dogs

Lorain Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Homolya reportedly grabbed his neighbor by his throat, slammed him on the ground and punched him


Olivia Mitchell
cleveland.com

LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — Video from a man’s doorbell camera shows him being assaulted by the city of Lorain’s Assistant Fire Chief, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department.

Matthew Homolya, 44, of Vermilion, was arrested last Wednesday, and charged with simple battery, a misdemeanor, after he was accused of attacking his neighbor and his neighbor’s dog, according to a police report.

Homolya was also accused of attacking the neighbor’s dogs with an axe. Lorain County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Capt. Richard Bosley says Homolya has not been charged for an attack on the dogs, but it will be reviewed by the prosecutor’s office.

The incident took place in a driveway on Orphanage Road in Vermilion.

Homolya’s dog wandered into the neighbor’s yard and Homoloya says the dog was attacked by two German Shepherds, according to police reports.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the dogs have fought.

The assistant fire chief called the neighbor and threatened to “kill him and his dogs” before he went to the man’s house.

In the video, Homolya walked up to the neighbor’s home. When the neighbor walked out of his attached garage, he attempted to apologize to Homolya.

Homolya pushed the man into a vehicle parked in his driveway. He then grabbed the man by his throat, slammed him on the ground, and punched him in his face. Homolya can be heard cursing and threatening him in the video.

Homolya appeared to walk away, but he turned around and shoved the neighbor into the car, again. The man reported head injuries to sheriff’s deputies but declined to be taken to the hospital. Deputies observed and took photos of red marks on the man’s neck, throat, and face.

Homolya later told police that although his dog was not hurt, but he was upset about the dog fight, and he was unaware if the attack happened on his property, or the neighbor’s, police records show.

Deputies of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department arrested Homolya. He was later released on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court again on March 22, at 10:30 a.m. in the Vermilion Municipal Court.

Under court orders, Homolya is directed to have no contact with the neighbor, no alcohol consumption, and no firearms.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave with the fire department, until the investigation is resolved, according to the city of Lorain’s Fire Chief, Chris Radman. Homolya has been employed with the city’s fire department for 22 years.

Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley says although Homolya would have to face disciplinary procedures with the city, it is not clear if he will be terminated, pending a further investigation.

“We want to make sure his rights are protected and the rights of citizens in Lorain are protected, too, Bradley said. “Our employees are represented by unions, and we are going to make sure we follow the follow procedures, however, I hope that whatever happens, he (Homolya) seeks help and if he does have a problem, to have it addressed.”

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit cleveland.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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