AKRON, Ohio – The Summit County Sheriff's Office has released documents that show of the 72 inmates released from the county's jail Sunday not all were accused of non-violent crimes.
Sheriff Steve Berry said he released the inmates after years of budget struggles that left him unable to safely staff the facility at its capacity of 671 inmates.
The sheriff's office said the inmates released were carefully chosen after many discussions with judges and others in the community and they were all low-level offenders.
The documents show eleven were accused of domestic violence, six of assault, several of theft and one of robbery. Other charges include endangering children, probation violations, OVI and contempt of court.
Within hours of the release, Akron police said they were called to Cilantro restaurant on South Main Street.
Restaurant owner, Charlie Somtrakool, told FOX 8 News that a customer came in off the streets carrying a paper bag about an hour before the restaurant closed on Sunday.
The customer, later identified as Robert Edwards, 57, ordered three appetizers, two deserts, one entrée and two tall beers, according to restaurant manager, Analise Bruno.
"He kept ordering appetizers, a tall beer you know; he just keep adding up the bills," said Somtrakool.
Bruno said Edwards told them he thought he had money with him but had left it at home. He asked if he could leave and come back the next day and pay for the meal.
"We were closed for about 30 minutes and he still wasn't paying, still pretty hesitant and that's when I stepped in and said, 'You know- we are ready for the bill to be paid,'" said Bruno.
Somtrakool said he didn't want to, but he eventually called police who charged Edwards with theft and issued him a summons to appear in court.
Barberton police were also called to West Summit Street within hours of the release where records show Michael Coon, 33, had to be revived by paramedics following an apparent overdose.
Police records show Coon, another of the released inmates, was found on a bathroom floor unresponsive.
Next to him was a spoon with a liquid substance and a hypodermic needle.
Coon was taken to a local hospital and summonsed to appear in court on a charge of possessing drug abuse instruments.
Court records show before his release on Sunday he was placed in jail for violating a personal protection order from similar previous charges.
Akron police said they were also called to investigate a disturbance near the Chapel Hill Mall.
There they found Rodney Yates, 32, and another man who had reportedly jumped out in front of a car trying to create a disturbance,
Police said they also found clothing which had been reportedly stolen from the Chapel Hill Mall Sears store including a $110 jacket.
Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards told FOX 8 that Yates had been banned from the store in January of 2013.
He was charged with criminal trespass, theft and disorderly conduct and taken back to the Summit County Jail.
"Obviously as a police officer I don't think most of us ever like to hear inmates are getting out of jail considering a lot of our time is spent in jail for the crimes they commit," said Barberton Police Detective Steve Coburn.
"If they are back out and they commit a crime, we will hopefully track them down and put them back where they belong and if that's jail, tha'ts where they will go," added Coburn.
Summit County Sheriff's Office Inspector Bill Holland said on Tuesday that the release is not "an amnesty program."
Many of the inmates released on Sunday are required to have electronic monitoring, residential services, or some kind of supervision.
The Oriana House has stepped in to help provide those services.
"I don't think there's a particularly heightened risk for violent behavior, that sort of thing; there are more people out on the street without necessarily the confines of the jail so that raises some concerns," said Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford.
"So now the question is trying to find the people in there who pose the least risk and I think there are a number of them who will do just fine and most of them will do just fine," added Rochford,
The sheriff's office said there is nothing in the near future that would help them increase the jail population.
"Our capacity was 671 and we stayed right around 671. Our capacity has been reduced to 522 and our plan is to keep it at 522 or below that," said Holland.