Ernie Harrell arrested, suspected of being a junk food junkie

For the past few weeks a mystery has been unfolding at the Village Project headquarters in Bay Village. Candy wrappers, empty bags of chips and soda cans have been found lying around the building—stashed behind the couch, crammed under pillows and scattered beneath a coat rack. The staff was shocked and horrified. Everyone knows that preparing healthy, organic and all-natural food is at the cornerstone of VP’s mission to provide nourishing meals and extended care to community members experiencing a cancer crisis. Junk food is strictly prohibited.

The Bay Village Police Department was called onto the case, and this past weekend they apprehended a suspect: Ernie Harrell, Welcome Leader at the Village Project. He was arrested and charged with two counts of littering the VP building with junk food and wrappers. In addition to littering and polluting the environment, the Welcome Leader has also been accused of tainting the VP’s healthy image, which has led to an additional charge of one count of defamation of character. If convicted, Harrell could be facing a sentence of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Ernie was taken into custody on May 18. After several kind souls paid his bail, he was later released to the guardianship of his humans with the stipulation that he is on house arrest, with only one supervised walk per day permitted.

While the Bay Village Police Department is not commenting on the specifics of the case, a spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office did go on record, telling this reporter, “Ernie may be fluffy and cute, but he is a bad, bad boy.”

There are many in the community who do not share this view, calling Ernie’s arrest “a terrible mistake” and claiming that “the pooch is being framed.”

Unsurprisingly, one of Ernie’s biggest supporters is his mother, Village Project’s Barb Harrell. “We are pleased that the BVPD has allowed our Ernie out on house arrest, but we know he is innocent. Ernie doesn’t even like junk food. He’s a good boy and a healthy eater. My heavens, he doesn’t even dare to go into the kitchen at Village Project headquarters. He knows better.” 

Barb went on to say, “The good news is that Ernie’s court date isn’t scheduled until July which gives us time to gather funds for his defense. We just want to see his tail wagging again.”

Anyone interested in contributing to Ernie’s Legal Defense Fund can do so by either mailing or dropping off a check to the Village Project headquarters (27378 West Oviatt Road) or by making a donation directly on the VP website:

Please note that this a spoof article. No animals were harmed in the writing of this story. All funds received for Ernie's "legal defense fund" will go to supporting Village Project.

Diane Frye

I am a Bay Village resident and a volunteer for Village Project. 

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:27 AM, 05.21.2019