WESTLAKE -- A Westlake man who is accused of abduction and theft in a string of alleged incidents in Westlake April 8 pleads not guilty.
Bond was set Wednesday at $250,000 for John Julius, 54, of Westlake, and his case was assigned to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy McCormack. No pretrial date was set.
Police arrested Julius April 8 and charged him with abduction, attempted abduction, receiving stolen property and failing to comply with a police order.
He has been in Westlake City jail since that evening, police said.
It all started about 5:16 a.m. April 8 when, police said, a North Olmsted man on his way to work was assaulted and forced to drive Julius around a Westlake neighborhood.
The victim had been driving on Detroit Road near Settlers Reserve Way when Julius ran in front of his car, forcing the victim to stop.
Julius allegedly opened the passenger door, got in and hit the driver repeatedly in the face. He then made the victim drive him around while stating that he -- the suspect -- was the Lord and people were after him.
The victim was able to throw the suspect out of the car, get away, and called police.
At 5:23 a.m. a woman driver reported a man with the same description tried to enter her car on Dover Center Road near Bassett Road but he did not get in.
At 6 a.m., the same suspect was on the porch of a home on Center Ridge Road, near Forest Parkway but the residents sent him away. At 8:29 a.m., he was observed by Westlake police officers riding a bike on Dover Center Road.
He ditched the bike and ran through backyards into the Village in the Park apartments on Detroit Road where he was arrested. At first he gave a false name but then told police who he was.
The bike he abandoned turned out to have been stolen from a student at Westlake High School some time ago so it was returned to the owner.