Alleged con artist hit with felony after dropping tree on elderly man

(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

SAGAMORE HILLS, OH (WOIO) - An elderly Sagamore Hills man took supposed tree removers at their word and almost lost his life when they botched the job.

They ignored his instructions as to where to cut his giant poplar tree so it would fall away from his house.

When he came out to see their progress, he got the scare of a lifetime.

"I heard the top of that poplar wiping through the other trees nearby," said homeowner George Homa.

He tried to pick a spot between the limbs of the falling tree to avoid getting hit.

It was too big and fell too fast and ended up crashing on him.

"Tore the left side was really squeezed and damaged. Both shoulders wounded, ribs, knee. It was repaired with plates and the fibula also, titanium plates and 14 screws. The hip has 7 rods in it to keep it together.  Ankle still crushed."

The Summit County prosecutor's office issued a warrant  for the arrest for Cory Howard, who had several fake IDs, forged paperwork and Summit County prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says he lied about being insured and bonded.

"He has been indicted for a felony theft offense, for the $3,000 he took from the 82-year-old homeowner, and didn't sufficiently complete the work. He's also been indicted for forgery," said Walsh.

The Summit County Sheriff's office confirmed this afternoon that Cory Howard surrendered to authorities Thursday.

He's being held in Summit County Jail, and his arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning.

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