June 30, 2023

The Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Shawn R. Turak on behalf of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department announces:

One June 27, 2023, a civil action was filed in the Ohio County Circuit Court seeking an injunction to abate and prevent a public health nuisance.  The lawsuit is filed against Arvindi and Bharati Patel, alleging that they have engaged in ground feeding of wildlife, particularly racoons, creating a public health nuisance.  The complaint alleges that this activity has been on-going since 2011.

Wildlife animals, particularly raccoons, carry diseases, such as rabies and distemper, most concerning of which to humans and domestic animals is rabies.

On June 29, 2023, the Circuit Court Judge David J. Sims issued a Temporary Restraining Order which directs the Patels, who reside in the Village of Bethlehem, to cease ground feeding and clean up all provisions previously set out for wildlife.

If any future ground feeding activity is witnessed, residents in the neighboring are encouraged to report this activity to the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, as this activity is a direct violation of the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court.

The Health Department telephone number is (304) 234-3682.