Man Involved in Lake Erie Fishing Scandal in Legal Trouble Again

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

With their next court appearance date being November 9th, one of the men involved in the Lake Erie fishing scandal has been hit with new charges. 

According to WDTN, Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, who is part of the fishing scandal in Ohio, has been charged with stalking and harassment in Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania. The criminal complaint in the case reveals a woman told authorities that Cominsky started following her vehicle closely after sending her harassing text messages in mid-October. She also stated the man was following so closely that if she would have hit the brakes, their vehicles would have collided. She was on the phone with the police during the incident. 

A little over a week after the first incident, the woman became receiving text messages from Cominsky. He also gained access to her Snapchat and email accounts. She also alleged that the man posed as her using her Snapchat account. He then sent her texts allegedly saying, “Kiss you a— goodbye.” 

Cominsky, along with Jacob Runyon, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, has been accused of being involved in the fishing scandal. The charges involved in the situation are cheating, attempted grand theft, and possessing criminal tools. Both fishermen also received misdemeanor charges of unlawfully owning wild animals. 

Although his fishing scandal court appearance is next week, Cominsky’s preliminary hearing for the stalking case is on November 17th.

Both Men Plead Not Guilty in the Lake Erie Fishing Scandal 

As previously reported, both Runyon and Cominsky pleaded not guilty in the fishing scandal case. Their first court appearance was held on October 25th and they were released on personal bonds of $2,500. Both men were ordered to turn in a DNA sample. 

The fishing scandal began in September when Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament director, Jason Fischer, became suspicious of Runyon and Cominsky’s fish due to them being significantly heavier than the same-length walleyes in the area. Fisher investigated by opening the walleye at  Gordon Park in Cleveland. During the investigation, he discovered that there were weights inside the fish. Ohio Department of Natural Resources confiscated the fish for evidence. 

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio revealed that the men involved in the fishing scale have fifth-degree felonies that are punishable by up to 12 months in prison. They would also have fines of up to $2,500. Meanwhile, the misdemeanors of fourth-degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Fines for those would be up to $250. 

The fishing scandal has rocked Lake Erie to the point where multiple tournaments have announced safeguards to prevent such cheating to occur. Lake Erie B’laster Fall Brawl organizers shared details about the contest’s safeguards. “In an effort to legitimize tournament fishing and derby fishing the B’laster Fall Brawl will be scanning fish,” organizers noted. They’ll use a device that can pick up metal and other foreign objects that may be inside a fish.