Two fishermen were arrested and charged with cheating after a video of their alleged misconduct went viral and they attempted to negotiate a payoff of $28,000. Authorities in Ohio announced indictments against the two fishermen seen on a viral video rigging a fishing tournament for financial gain.
Prosecutor for Cuyahoga County, Michael C O’Malley, said that the shady dealings of 42-year-old Jacob Runyan and 35-year-old Chase Cominsky at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament last month were “not only dishonorable but also criminal. O’Malley announced in a press release that he had indicted Runyan and Cominsky for attempted grand theft, cheating, possession of criminal tools, and unlawful possession of wild animals.
The Video Showed Their Catch Apparently Stuffed With Lead Weights.
It was claimed in the release that the two used Cominsky’s boat in the race, which led to the criminal tools charge. On Tuesday, law enforcement took possession of the boat and its trailer. On the line for the men was a total of $28,760 during the Cleveland tournament that ran from September 30th to October 1st.
On September 30, a video surfaced showing a crowd surrounding the winners of the competition, Runyan, and Cominsky, sparking widespread outrage over the allegations. Jason Fischer, the tournament director, sliced open the men’s catch and found lead weights inside.
According to the release from the prosecutor’s office, Fischer cut open the walleye after realizing that Runyan and Cominsky’s catch weighed more than it appeared to. A total of ten weights were discovered within the fish, eight of which weighed 12 ounces each and the other two each weighing 8 ounces.
Walleye fisherman Troy Krause, who posted a video of the mayhem at the tournament to TikTok, said this month that the men’s success at a string of tournaments over the past year had raised suspicions among their peers. He concluded that their “finally getting caught was a good thing because I think they just got carried away.”
It was unclear if Runyan and Cominsky were represented by attorneys. In the court records, none were found. A comment from Runyan was requested, but he has yet to provide one. A phone call to Cominsky went unanswered. A court date for their arraignment has been set for October 26.