Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Coyne can't take tank to Frisch's

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

BATAVIA - John Coyne will have to drive his tank to other restaurants for burgers and fries after the Clermont County man Tuesday agreed to stay out of all Frisch's restaurants and property for two years.

In exchange, misdemeanor charges against him were dismissed by a Clermont County Municipal Court judge.

Mr. Coyne was charged in July with obstructing official business and criminal trespassing, both misdemeanors, after he was accused of refusing to move his 7-ton British Scorpion tank from a car show at the New Richmond Frisch's.

The plea deal was worked out shortly before Mr. Coyne appeared in court Tuesday, said Mr. Coyne's attorney, William Rapp.

"Sometimes the best victory is the battle that's never fought," he said. "My client does still maintain his innocence. He will stay out of Frisch's. I think the (disposition) is a win-win for him."

Frisch's officials declined comment.

"They're the ones that made a mistake, not me," a smiling Mr. Coyne, 59, said outside court. "I've done nothing wrong, and now they're admitting it. They proved my message ... that I live in a police state."

He said he had taken the tank to Frisch's for other car shows without a problem.

This latest incident came just months after Mr. Coyne finished a 17-year prison sentence for shooting at three youths, killing one, who were allegedly looting his property near New Richmond.


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