Wife of North Ridgeville police chief and toddler put in holding cell after shoplifting arrest

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio - The wife of the North Ridgeville police chief will be arraigned in court next week after she was arrested for shoplifting in Avon Monday with her toddler.

Avon police arrested Elaine Freeman, whose husband is police chief Mike Freeman, at the Target in Avon around 12:15 pm.

The woman's 2-year-old son was with her at the time she was arrested, according to Avon Mayor James Smith.

The Mayor said police allowed Freeman's handcuffed hands to be covered by a blanket while she pushed her son in a stroller to an Avon police cruiser. The 41-year-old was then booked at the Avon Police Station and she and her son were put in a holding cell together.  

"We did everything that we should have done and probably a little more to keep the child from being traumatized because you don't want to take the child away from the mother in that case," said Mayor Smith, who added that he met with Avon Police Chief Richard Bosley and the department's captain Wednesday morning to review the situation.

Once in custody, the mayor said Bosley notified Chief Freeman of the situation. "He came down and was upset."

Neither Bosley nor Freeman could be reached for comment.

"She did wrong and she has to pay the price," said North Ridgeville resident Gilbert Reising.

Mayor Smith said his police department followed proper procedure with regards to Freeman's arrest and booking process.

"I wouldn't have changed a thing."

"It's very sad. I hope it's resolved quickly," said North Ridgeville resident Robin Hrabik, who added that she knows Chief Freeman through her work with the North Ridgeville school district.

"Everything that Mike has done for the police department has been wonderful," said Hrabik.

Mayor Smith said Freeman was released shortly after Monday's incident on personal bond and will appear in Avon Lake Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Freeman is accused of stealing "personal products," but specifics weren't given.

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