Alleged cheating fishermen won Rossford’s Walleye Roundup in April
Police launched a criminal investigation into possible cheating, but found a lack of evidence
ROSSFORD, Ohio (WTVG) - During the Rossford Walleye Roundup in April 2022, the team with the heaviest combined weight of fish won $10,000. Those winners were Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky, the same two allegedly exposed as cheaters over the weekend in a separate tournament near Cleveland.
“We did think it was odd that they wanted to take their five fish and go home and not donate it to the Helping Hands of St. Louis,” explains Neil MacKinnon, Mayor of Rossford. He says those who take part in the tournaments travel from state to state, showing a pro level of competition. That’s why suspicions arose when the winners took home their heavy fish.
After MacKinnon got a tip there may have been cheating involved in Rossford’s tournament, he took it to Rossford Police.
“About a week after the tournament, we received some phone calls and we also received a call from a gentlemen that had a video,” describes MacKinnon. “I then asked the Rossford Police Department to launch a criminal investigation. When that investigation was complete, my detective and my chief said, ‘Yeah, there looks like something could be here, but it doesn’t rise to that level.’ We did send it off to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, and they agreed with our police chief and our detective that there was nothing here that could be proven in a court of law.”
The mayor goes on to say the two alleged cheaters may have brought shame upon themselves, but not on the sport. The tournament in Rossford, he adds, will return next year.
“It doesn’t take away from the fact that these are great tournaments. These are great guys that participate in these tournaments. These are great sponsors, and this will go on. The tournaments will continue,” says MacKinnon.
As for the criminal investigation near Cleveland, published reports indicate the prosecutor there is consulting with Ohio DNR about possible charges.
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