Republican Candidate Travis Faber Assaulted By St. Henry Man

Photo provided/Travis Faber A picture of Frank Urwin, 55, who stole Travis Faber yard signs and attacked the Republican candidate when caught on Tuesday in Celina.
Staff Writer

A St. Henry man who is also a volunteer for the Aaron Heilers campaign attacked a local Republican House candidate on Tuesday regarding a campaign sign.

Republican candidate for 84th House District Travis Faber was attacked by 55-year-old Frank Urwin when Faber caught Urwin stealing a yard sign endorsing Faber.

On April 12, Faber reported to the Celina Police Department that within a few days prior, someone had stolen a large campaign sign from the corner of Westbank Road and U.S. 127.  
It had been placed on private property with permission. Review of nearby surveillance footage showed a person in a red Ford pickup truck took the sign on April 9.

Faber was checking his new sign as he drove by and the red truck was leaving with his sign gone. Faber asked the man — later identified as Urwin — to return the sign. 

The attack happened in the parking lot of Boardwalk Grill in Celina just off U.S. 127 and was captured on the city's closed-circuit video cameras. 

As shown in the video Urwin charged Faber’s car and opened the car’s driver door while the vehicle was still in gear. He proceeded to pull the candidate out of the car and strike him repeatedly before fleeing the scene. 

The assailant was arrested by the Celina Police Department later that night, and he has been charged with assault and theft-without consent — both first-degree misdemeanors. He is set for arraignment on April 23, however, more charges may follow as police investigate the unprovoked attack. 

According to Mercer County court records, Urwin does not have any other assault charges, but has six speeding offenses and two speeding offenses in Auglaize County.

Faber, who suffered minor injuries in the incident, including being punched in the face, said he is concerned the campaign took such a dark and violent turn at the hands of a supporter of his opponent. Faber called on all the campaigns in the race to cooperate fully with the investigation and to suspend the activities of any campaign supporter acting improperly. 

“This attack does not reflect the values of the people of Mercer County or the 84th District,” Faber said in a statement. “We can agree to disagree on the issues, but violence has no place in our democracy.” Faber said he believes the attack stemmed from the fact he had photographed the assailant stealing campaign yard signs just before the incident. Celina PD issued a statement earlier Wednesday claiming the incident reportedly was sparked by a campaign ad that Urwin did not like.

Faber’s campaign had placed signs in the yard of Boardwalk Grill with permission from the lessee of the property. 

The attack happened while Faber was sitting in his car attempting to call local police and report the theft. Faber further called on campaigns and the supporters of campaigns to tone down the rhetoric being used on social media. 

“I think tensions have risen during this campaign season because of inflammatory comments being made on social media outlets, like Facebook,” Faber said. “It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and sling mud, but I think all the campaigns and their supporters should take the high road and avoid engaging in negative tactics. My campaign has, and will continue, to discuss the issues that affect our district and our state.” 

Faber is seeking the Republican nomination in the 84th House District, which includes Mercer County, as well as parts of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties. Faber, who lives in Celina, is an attorney who represents local businesses and farmers in the area.