LIMA — The man who drove a car into the Sharon Dairy King near the old American Mall last year will spend two months in jail and perhaps the rest of his life paying for the damage he caused.
Jonathan Taylor, 19, also was sentenced Tuesday for felony vandalism to three years probation. He was ordered to pay $1,208 in restitution to American Township and $500 to the Swick family, who owned the ice cream restaurant on West Elm Street.
Judge David Cheney informed Taylor the insurance company paid $249,090 for damage he caused, and the company intends to sue him to recover the money.
“You will have this hanging over your head for the rest of your life until you get it paid.”
Taylor crashed a car into the rear of the ice cream restaurant on Nov. 12 in a suicide attempt.
Taylor told the judge he was getting his life in order and the problems that led to the incident were behind him.
“This was personally my problem that I took way too far,” he said. “I just couldn’t really handle my own problems at the time but I’m hoping I can make up for it.”
A victim’s advocate read a statement from the Swick family explaining the way it hurt them. The family had countless hours meeting with insurance agents, contractors and work to get the place open for business in the spring.
“My worst nightmare was just made a reality when I saw the building,” Tim Swick said in the statement. “This business is our main source of income.”
Swick expressed concern that, had the ice cream restaurant been open, employees and customers could have been killed or hurt.
Cheney also reminded Taylor the case is about more than just money but the headaches it caused the Swicks.
“Peace of mind is very valuable and that is something they don’t have,” Cheney said.