The cause of death for a Northfield Center man who collapsed Sept. 11 while being held in a secured waiting area at Stow Municipal Court has yet to be announced by the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office.
Stow Police and Stow Fire Department EMS personnel were called to the courthouse for a medical emergency at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 11.
Police Lt. Anne Stirm said “rescue efforts were begun and were not successful” for Dennis Allan Cerny, 60, of Northfield Center.
She said Cerny was at the courthouse to pay fines when it was discovered there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued by the Peninsula Police Department. The warrant was not related to the fines he was paying.
Numerous witnesses are listed on the Stow Police incident report regarding Cerny’s sudden death, but none of them saw him collapse.
“No one witnessed his collapse, but only the events leading to his being held in the secured waiting area adjacent to the first-floor courtroom used mostly for arraignments,” Stirm explained in an e-mail.
According to Stow Municipal Court online records, available through the Summit County Clerk of Courts website, Peninsula Police arrested Cerny on May 8 and charged him with falsification, carrying concealed weapons and disorderly conduct, all misdemeanors.
Several warrants for failure to appear in court on the Peninsula charges were issued, then recalled, throughout the summer months. The arrest warrant that was valid on the day of Cerny’s death was issued Aug. 29.
Online records show Cerny was due to appear in Stow Municipal Court at 1 p.m. Sept. 11 for a ticket issued Sept. 8 by Stow Police for use of illegal license plates/transfer of registration, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
Records also show the Stow court was expecting fine payments from Cerny by Sept. 17 related to traffic tickets he received May 4 in Peninsula for operating a vehicle without a valid license and July 9 in Hudson on the same charge, as well as not obeying a traffic signal.
Cerny’s death remains under investigation by the county medical examiner's office, which is awaiting test results.