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Cops and Courts

Former Avon Lake Fire Chief waives preliminary hearing on rape charges

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    Former Avon Lake Fire Chief Larry Grizzell appears in Elyria Municipal Court on Friday on charges of rape and sexual battery.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — Former Avon Lake Fire Chief Larry Grizzell, who is facing rape and sexual battery charges for allegedly assaulting a female acquaintance, waived a preliminary hearing in Elyria Municipal Court on Thursday.

Grizzell, 60, of Gulf Road, did not face Judge Robert C. White for his 2 p.m. hearing. The rape charge is a first-degree felony and the sexual battery charge a third-degree felony.

Attorney James Burge on Wednesday entered a notice of appearance with the court to defend Grizzell. A message seeking comment was left at Burge’s office.

Additional or amended charges are possible once the case is considered by a Lorain County grand jury.

Grizzell was being held on $1.25 million bond in Lorain County Jail. White said at an earlier hearing the high bond was due to the accused being a possible flight risk and the possibility of him doing harm to himself or others. White also issued a temporary protection order forbidding Grizzell from having any contact with the alleged victim.

Additionally, should he make bond, Grizzell is forbidden from possessing any firearms or weapons, alcohol or illegal drugs, White ruled.

Grizzell allegedly “made admissions regarding the offenses he was charged with” during an interview with investigators, according to Elyria police.

He spent four years as Avon Lake fire chief before resigning in 2005 after running afoul of members of the firefighters union. Grizzell remained a lieutenant with the department until his retirement in 2015.

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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