CELINA — A St. Henry man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a candidate running for the 84th Ohio House District, local attorney Travis Faber. Arrested was Frank Urwin, 55.
According to the Celina Police Department, on April 12, Faber reported that within a few days prior someone had stolen a large campaign sign from the corner of Westbank Road and US 127. The sign had been placed on private property with permission. Review of nearby surveillance footage showed a person in a red Ford pickup truck took the sign on April 9.
On April 17, Faber was checking his new sign as he drove by and the red truck was leaving and his sign had been taken. Faber asked the man, later identified as Urwin, to return the sign.
Faber parked on the nearby parking lot of the Boardwalk Bar & Grill. Urwin turned around on US 127, pulled into the parking lot where Faber was and quickly exited his truck. He charged at Faber, who was seated in his car. Urwin opened Faber’s car door and allegedly physically assaulted him, pulling him from the car and repeatedly striking him.
Urwin fled the scene. He was later arrested for assault and theft. The incident reportedly was sparked by a campaign ad that Urwin did not like.
Faber, who suffered minor injuries in the incident, said in a press release he is concerned the campaign took such a dark and violent turn. Faber called on all the campaigns in the race to cooperate fully with the investigation and to suspend the activities of any campaign supporter acting improperly.
“This attack does not reflect the values of the people of Mercer County or the 84th District,” Faber said. “We can agree to disagree on the issues, but violence has no place in our democracy.”
Faber said he believes the attack stemmed from the fact he had photographed the assailant allegedly stealing campaign yard signs just before the incident. Faber’s campaign had placed signs in the yard of Boardwalk Grill with permission from the lessee of the property. The attack happened while Faber was sitting in his car attempting to call local police and report the theft.
Faber further called on campaigns and the supporters of campaigns to tone down the rhetoric being used on social media. “I think tensions have risen during this campaign season because of inflammatory comments being made on social media outlets, like Facebook,” Faber said, adding that, “It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and sling mud, but I think all the campaigns and their supporters should take the high road and avoid engaging in negative tactics. My campaign has, and will continue, to discuss the issues that affect our district and our state.”