Rittman couple startled to find convicted felon sleeping off candy bender on their couch

RITTMAN, Ohio - A convicted felon was arrested Friday morning after he broke into a random apartment and was discovered sleeping on a Rittman couple's couch, police said.

Eric Branham, 36, is charged with aggravated burglary.

Police said Branham crawled through a window, busted some blinds and entered the apartment on Fairlawn Avenue. 

Rittman is located southwest of Wadsworth.

He ate several pieces of candy from an Easter basket and then fell asleep on a living room couch.

The couple who lives there, Jaclyn Fortner and Derek Jenkin, made the creepy discovery just after 6 a.m.

"We kept saying like, 'Who are you? What are you doing?' And, no response," Fortner told News 5.

Jenkin continued to scream at the man while on the phone with a 911 operator.

He can be heard yelling, "Get out of here! Let's go! Come on!"

Police said Branham left the apartment, but lingered around the complex and was arrested.

Officers found two knives and prescription medication on the suspect.

"It's kind of scary, especially thinking what's out there, so he could have woke up angry and like escalated the situation," Fortney said.

According to state records, Branham has spent time in prison for forgery, possession of drugs, illegal possession of drugs and burglary.

Branham was on post release control following his release from prison in 2017.




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