PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A man, who intentionally drove through fuel pumps at a Painesville Township GetGo station, causing a fire before fleeing the area and threatening officers during a brief standoff with what was later determined to be a pair of pliers, will spend the next two decades in prison.
On Tuesday, Michael Craig, 60, was sentenced to a minimum of 22 and a maximum 27 years in prison on multiple charges including, aggravated arson, felonious assault, vandalism, inducing panic, aggravated menacing and resisting arrest in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas.
His charges stem from a February 2020 incident where Craig intentionally drove into a gas pump at the GetGo Gas Station in the 1200 block of Mentor Avenue. The impact dislodged the pump.
Craig then drove across the parking lot and struck a Ford pickup truck that was fueling at another pump. The Ford, which was occupied by an adult and two children, was pushed into the gas pump it was using, causing a fire that ignited and began to consume the truck, according to deputies.
The adult and two children were able to escape the truck unharmed, deputies said.
Craig continued across the parking lot where he struck another vehicle before entering onto Mentor Avenue, striking another vehicle and continuing off the side of the road through a chain link fence and catching fire, deputies said.
Bystanders approached his vehicle, offering their assistance, but the man driving told them he had a gun and he was going to "shoot and kill everyone." Once authorities arrived at the scene, the man reiterated his threats saying that he had a weapon and was "going to use it against them," deputies said.
According to deputies, Craig continued to taunt officers while sitting in the vehicle, which was still in flames.
He failed to comply with authorities and crawled out of the driver's side window holding a suspected gun in his hands. After a brief standoff with the man, deputies determined the object in his hands was not a gun but rather a pair of pliers he held in a manner that made authorities believe it was a gun, according to deputies.
At the time, deputies deployed less lethal bean bag rounds. Eventually a Taser was used and deputies were able to pull him to safety from the engulfed vehicle.
Craig was given a credit of 318 days served.