A 53-year-old man from Waynesville, Ohio has been charged with assault over whipping a tenant with a belt, for being tardy with his rent money.
A well-known community leader, Ron Kronenberger attacked the unnamed 29-year-old male tenant at the supermarket, on January 22.
Kronenberger spotted his tenant at the Waynesville Hometown Marketplace, which he owns, and spanked him. He pulled his belt out and reportedly struck him on his bare buttocks.
Presumably asked why he would pull down his pants for the landlord to punish him in that manner, the victim confessed being scared of Kronenberger.
“He was scared and just wanted to get it over with,” Police Chief Gary Copeland quotes the victim, in a report by Dayton Daily News.
The overdue rent amounted to more than $2,000 (€1,516), the same publication notes, prompting a disciplinary action by the building owner.
“If you’re going to act like a child, I’m going to treat you like one,” Kronenberger allegedly said before striking the man four times. The beating left “little marks” on his behind.
Kronenberger has received the award for the town's Citizen of the Year in 2006, and is a former president of the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to the police report by Officer Daniel Bledsoe, the assailant has confessed to the crime.
“At this point, Chief left to attempt to make contact with Ron Kronenberger about the incident, in which Ron admits whipping (the victim) due to late rent payment in the amount of $2,800 (€2,123),” Officer Bledsoe has told reporters.
He is charged with one count of assault, regarded as a first-degree misdemeanor offense. His arraignment hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday. Warren County Court records reveal that he has already missed his first arraignment hearing.