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2 indicted for Woodfest assaults

Photo courtesy of the Columbus police

Two of the three men arrested in the Woodfest block party on May 15 have been indicted for assaulting police.

The Court of Common Pleas Franklin County grand jury returned the indictments for Ohio State student Matthew Coleman, 19, and Michael Shivak, 21. Coleman was indicted on two charges of assaulting a police officer and one charge of obstructing official business. Shivak was indicted on one charge of assaulting a police officer and one charge of obstructing official business.


OSU student Brian Witt, 21, who was also arrested, was charged with assaulting a police officer, but has not yet been indicted as police are still investigating his case, said Christy McCreary, spokeswoman for the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.


The indictments come after the Franklin County Municipal Court dismissed their charges on May 25. This is not uncommon, said Judge Paul Herbert of Franklin County Municipal Court who oversaw the offenders’ arraignments. Typically, the municipal court drops felony cases and the grand jury picks them up.


“The grand jury decides whether or not to go through on felony cases and municipal court has a limited jurisdiction on felony charges,” Herbert said. “Just because it’s dismissed here doesn’t mean the case is over.”


Assaulting a police officer is a fourth-degree felony that can carry up to six to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Obstructing official business is a fifth-degree felony that is punishable by six to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500, according to the Court of Common Pleas.


Arraignments for Coleman and Shivak are set for Monday, June 13.


Coleman and Witt did not return The Lantern‘s emails.


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 30, 2011

An earlier version of this story stated The Court of Common Please grand jury returned the indictments. It is The Court of Common Pleas.

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