Ravenna man charged with running over Edinburg man with his van

By Dave O'Brien | Staff Writer Published:

A former Ravenna man is in the Portage County jail, charged with allegedly running over an Edinburg man following an alcohol-fueled argument at a Hughes Road residence.

Robert J. Pifer, 49, homeless but with a last known address on Highland Avenue in Ravenna, is charged with one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony. He is being held in the Portage County jail on $250,000 cash bond, according to court records, and forbidden from contacting the alleged victim or his family.

Pifer allegedly struck Larry W. Melton, 63, with his van in Melton's girlfriend's front yard in the 7200 block of Hughes Road on Wednesday night. Sheriff's detective Lt. Greg Johnson said Pifer, Melton and Melton's girlfriend were at her residence visiting when Pifer allegedly began to make disparaging comments about Melton's daughter.

Shaunda F. Melton, 45, is charged with stealing more than $500,000 from a Palymra couple in 2010 and using it to buy a house on the Atlantic coast in South Carolina.

The fight continued on the front lawn, at which point Pifer allegedly got into his van and "ran Larry down in the front yard," Johnson said.

Larry Melton needed surgery for a broken leg and a broken shoulder, he said. The injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to Johnson.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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  • First of all the elections over and the truth needs told! I am so taken back that a reporter would be so insensitive to a family for any tragedy that would undermine or lesson a crime of this nature. First and foremost I have known Larry for over 30 years and yes he can be strong natured but that nature saved my husbands life when he wrecked on the highway by Mr. Melton's house. He risked his own life to save a stranger so when I read that someone was talking about his daughter I was not surprised that he countered the opinion. I can tell you I know clearly of Shaunda's case and Melvin Roosa was nasty old man that took advantage of her and many other people in the community. He did things to her and other young girls that were unthinkable and Portage County has done nothing to him even after reports by other females in the community. It's public record. All of his neighbors know his history and so did his poor wife that Shaunda was trying to protect! I think someone needs to stand up for the truth of this matter. Many people have to plead guilty due to poor representation and given no other choice but unfairness. I think this is a terrible ordeal this family has went through and anyone who would kick someone when they're down should be prosecuted themselves. I am sorry Mr. Melton for these unfeeling statements to you and your family. I want you to know there are many people who do know the truth about this so called poor elderly victim that was a predator to many, not to mention right next to a public school. This sickens me to no end that so many people have known for years of this behavior even the sheriff next door. This is equal if not worse than the Sandusky case. Wake up Mr. Reporter.

  • Mr. O'brien, how dare you cave in! Dave, your integrity is in serious question! The 1st and 4th amendments of the U.S. Constitution are what this country is made of. I am absolutley sure Mr. Dix is not going to be happy with you as well as your supervisor. This comment has nothing to do with this article. 123 123 123 123...

  • All of the comments here are from a bunch of **** keyboard warriors. Wish I was there Larry would not have had to do what he did I would have done it for him. I'd stand up for Larry or his daughter any day. Dave Obrien is a joke. His day in court is Coming soon with the dixs also.

  • Larry must have whipped your tail and you still haven't gotten over it.... Sore loser.

  • TT, now you're just being silly with delusions of grandeur. We will never meet or even cross paths because I do not hang with druggie, alcoholic criminals. So, adios. Have a, well, as good a life as possible. SSJ - funny!!! Good one. Haha!!

  • Guitarman I have figured you out. MELVIN ROOSA Bingo!!!!!!!!

  • So I'm neither,but you obviously have some kind of obcession with 1 or both of them--Ex boyfriend-heart broken-figures

  • Yeah, I do know alot, shall I continue? Ah, never mind, I don't have all night, Everyone on here has a screen name just like you. OH, BTW just for giggles I got on the Court website to see what your father has been up to lately and came across your record. Impressive!! You the one with the $500K or is that the other one? Both records show what y'all aspire to be in life.

  • You seem to know alot guitarman,so brave to talk here like that-saying someone deserves this--would love to meet you--oh thats right thats why you have a screen name--Real nice tough guy

  • Misunderstood you earlier "tellthetruth". Guess you don't know how to do what your name implies. I can't think of a better person to have been run over.

  • Misunderstood you earlier "tellthetruth". Guess you don't know how to do what your name implies. I can't think of a better person to have been run over.

  • Once again Dave O'Brien tells another tall tale that discounts the goodness and strength in my home town. I wished the Record Courier could afford someone who puts fourth an effort to write a story that is balanced and accurate instead of deceiving the Portage County community and the many honorable, hardworking people who have built it on genuine love and integrity. I have not read a single article that he has taken the time to debate or present the opposing information which discounts the audience as moronic, naive citizens. I'm certain that he must not understand, per the Society of Professional Journalist, that a reporter is not to mislead or distort the truth but rather respect people enough to investigate and present all sides of a story. I am also certain this society does not come out of a crackerjack box like most the information written by this unsportsmanlike so called reporter. I am certain we have all experienced negative issues in life and they are not always as they appear to outsiders. A reporter like Mr. O'Brien is not an asset. Other reporters that work hard to document a truthful, balanced story loath a lazy fabricator that manipulates the truth to make a headline story. I believe that anyone who knows my father can testify the most important thing in his life is the love for his family and friends and, no doubt, if there was something said about one of those people he would stand up for them, BUT and that's a huge BUT, is not how the events took place at all. This homeless, pathetic perpetrator has promised for over a year that he was going to kill my father. He is homeless for a reason, because he has no one else left in life that wants anything to do with him and uses an alias! That's correct Rob Pifer is not even his true identity and is wanted on warrants in other counties. The community should be aware of this information so rather than rehash an old story, spend some time investigating the background of your subject. It's too bad that the Record Courier condones this coverage and cannot see that a Journalist like Andy Rooney or Tom Brokaw did not become famous for a trendy hot blog that is here today, gone tomorrow. Look at 20/20. It's balanced and reveals to the audience unknown truths, that's what makes it so interesting and reliable. I have taken the high road throughout the past year and a half, but messing with the family goes a little too far. Please Mr. O'Brien do us all a favor and put forth some effort into your reporting! Mr. O'Brien the following link is just for you:)ENJOY! http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

  • Telltruth knows who the victim really is. All who have been victims of the guy under the van, stand up and applaud.

  • WOW studman-Read the article-No clue what you are talking about!!

  • Anybody that has a girlfriend that steals half a million from somebody DESERVES to get run down!

  • Leaving out quit a bit here,better wait until we can get both sides of the story! Maybe not just the poor homeless guy,that was drunk,driving a vehicle,with gas in it. Sorry my compassion only goes so far for the poor victim in jail!

  • If these were not life-threatening,then why was he life-flighted to hospital?

  • Typical night for some of Ravenna's finest.