Former police chief pleads not guilty

Charged with hit and run in a single-car crash

CORTLAND — Former police Chief Gary Mink pleaded not guilty to charges of hit-skip and failure to control in connection to a single-car crash June 24 near Tamer Win Golf and Country Club.

Mink, 61, is free on personal recognizance bond after his initial court appearance on the misdemeanor charges Wednesday in Central District Court in Cortland.

According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, an orange 2012 Jeep Wrangler traveling north on state Route 46 near the golf course went off the road into a ditch and struck a culvert before coming back onto the road and driving off.

Cortland police followed a mud trail from the accident site to Mink’s home on Southdale Boulevard, where they found an orange Jeep with damage to the front passenger side and missing the front passenger plastic fender in the garage, and Mink by the garage in a chair, according to a city police report.

Mink, who asked police why they were at his home, told police he had a flat tire and didn’t need medical attention, the report states.

The report states Mink was slurring his words and had difficulty telling police his telephone number, and used his hands to show police the number, the report states.

The crash happened in Bazetta, but Cortland responded because a township police officer was handling another call, the Cortland report states. The state patrol was asked to handle the investigation.

When the state patrol went to the home, the state report states the driver refused to come to the door, but when contacted by phone, Mink agreed to meet with investigators on June 25, the report states.

Mink told the state patrol he was traveling about 45 mph and left the scene of the crash because no other vehicles were involved and he knew he had 24 hours to report the crash to police, the report states. He said he had a beer at lunch at noon and three to four glasses of vodka after the crash, the report states.