GREEN TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – Police said three teenage girls from a nearby group home assaulted two Green Township firefighters Monday morning but to neighbors and officers, issues with residents from the home are nothing new.
Overnight, Goshen Township police said three girls — two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old — walked away from the Sharon Lynn Home for Girls. Police said around 7:15 a.m., they tried to burglarize the firefighters’ home a couple of miles away on State Route 45 in neighboring Green Township.
One of the victims called 911.
“She said that three kids were trying to break into the house. She came outside to approach them, the one girl struck her in the face. That’s when her husband came out and basically, the three girls tackled him,” said Goshen Township Police Sgt. John Calko.
Police said the girls knocked the 63-year-old man to the ground and kicked him in the face and head repeatedly.
“She went, then, back in the house and basically, came back out with a gun and fired a round in the air to try to scare the kids,” Calko said.
When officers arrived, they found the man on the ground near the back of the house, bleeding from his face and ears. He was taken to Salem Regional Medical Center.
All three girls were arrested and taken to the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center.
Calko said the same girls walked away Saturday, only to be found at the Salem Walmart and sent back to the group home.
Neighbors have previously complained about disruptions from the home.
“It’s an ongoing situation, the girls walking away,” Jim Price said.
He’s been living on Sharon Lynn Drive for the past 20 years, long before the group home for troubled teen girls opened.
“A few years back, my wife was riding her bike down the road and they were harassing her,” Price said.
Calko said they’ve had multiple reports for the group home over the years.
In fact, Goshen police have responded to over 200 calls to the house since it was taken over in 2015 by the Wooster-based Village Network — a nonprofit providing shelter for girls with mental and behavioral problems. Nineteen of those calls came just since January.
Workers at the group home did not want to talk to WKBN. When we showed up at their door, they tried to shoo us away.
“This is incorrect and you’re going to need to leave the premises,” one worker said.
A spokesperson for Village Network confirmed the girls are not confined to the home. WKBN found the front door wide open, allowing residents to come and go as they please — often running away.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services oversees and funds the home.
“It’s not getting any better over the years,” Price said. “Something has to be done. Something has to be done.”
The girls will appear in court Tuesday on aggravated burglary, assault, felonious assault, and criminal damaging charges.
Police and neighbors said they will press, once again, to have the home shut down for good.