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November 2009 | Dayton area crime

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November 2009

Thanksgiving day homicide leaves more questions than answers

DAYTON - LaPeetra Dawson hugged her 8-year-old daughter on Thanksgiving Day on the spot where her 35-year-old father laid slumped over hours before.

“He didn’t make it,” Dawson said.

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Darnell Wilson’s children wrote messages on a picture of the 35-year-old father gunned down in his apartment complex parking lot on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26.

Darnell Wilson died at Miami Valley Hospital after being shot in the neck some time before 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, at the Germantown Meadows apartments at 4700 Germantown Pike.

It has been more than 24 hours since his death and police have little clues or leads in the city’s 38th homicide this year.

Dawson has swept the front sidewalk outside her front door to shield their two kids from seeing their dad’s blood. Now, she wipes away her tears and those of his son and daughter.

“He was a good man and loved his kids,” Dawson said. “I can’t believe this has happened. On Thanksgiving.”

Dawson said her partner of 13 years was returning home about 8 a.m. when she opened up the door and saw him slumped over on the sidewalk. She, nor her neighbors, said they heard any commotion, let alone a gunshot.

Dawson said Wilson’s brother found him first in the parking lot and noticed he was bleeding inside his parked vehicle, just feet from Wilson’s front door. She said she wasn’t sure how he made it from her car to her front door.

It is unclear how long he had been suffering from the gunshot wound before his family found him.

“I have no idea why anyone would want to do this,” Dawson said. “Whoever did this should recognize they killed a father who had a family that loved him and they did it on Thanksgiving.”

Police said anyone with information about Wilson’s death should call 333-COPS.


Man convicted of running ‘large’ drug-trafficking organization

DAYTON - A federal jury has convicted a 40-year-old man who used several businesses in the Dayton area to help traffic “large” quantities of cocaine across multiple states, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anthony “Tricky” Baltimore, of Dayton, faces a mandatory life prison sentence after a jury convicted him of related charges late Tuesday night, Nov. 24, in Judge Walter Rice’s court room in Dayton.

U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said Baltimore led a drug-trafficking organization that reached into parts of Kentucky, California, Washington D.C. and Texas. He distributed “hundreds of kilograms or marijuana, cocaine and heroin in southern Ohio and Lexington, Ky.”

Dayton police and Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer’s Office assisted locally in the investigation of Baltimore, authorities said.

More than 60 witnesses testified in the case, some reporting that Baltimore used businesses, including auto dealership Prestige Imports, to conceal money made from drug-trafficking, authorities said.

Judge Rice has yet to schedule a sentencing hearing. Baltimore has been in federal custody since October of 2007.


Cop’s lawyer said victim wants abduction charge dropped

KETTERING - A former Columbus-area police officer accused of trying to drown his ex-girlfriend pleaded not guilty today, Nov. 24, to a felony abduction charge and his attorney said the victim wants all charges dropped.

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Joshua Gearhart

Joshua Gearhart, 27, of Circleville, a former Columbus police officer and auxiliary officer for the Whitehall Police Department, is in jail on $500,000 bond after entering the plea through closed circuit television.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Gearhart Sunday about 6 a.m. after deputies found his 26-year-old ex-girlfriend soaking wet and covered in mud, Maj. Scott Landis said. The woman said Gearhart made threatening statements and tried to drown her in a ditch, Sheriff Phil Plummer said.

His office refused to release the woman’s name.

“The (ex-girlfriend) called me and said she advised detectives on the case she does not want to pursue this,” said Gearhart’s attorney, Tony Cicero. “She said they had been drinking and one thing that happened is being characterized as something else.”

Landis said he is not aware of any such statements made by the woman.

Cicero said Gearhart’s bond is excessive because the Sunday incident is a “he said, she said” case. Gearhart’s attorney said he plans to discuss the girlfriend’s statements with Montgomery County prosecutors and hopes to have the Wright State University student home for Thanksgiving.

“He maintains his innocence,” Cicero said.

Gearhart was fired from the Columbus Police Department last fall after an internal investigation, The Columbus Dispatch reported at the time.

A spokesman for the Whitehall Police Department said Tuesday Gearhart is no longer associated with the force, The Dispatch reported. As a Columbus officer Gearhart was involved in the fatal shooting of a man who pointed a gun at officers, the newspaper reported.


Gang member sentenced to life in prison for murder

DAYTON - A man Dayton police called a violent, cold-blooded killer and known Dayton View Hustlers gang member was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, Nov. 24, for the murder of Isaac “Quan” Gibson.

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Theron “T. Streets” Lewis
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Keith “Hooskal King” Watson
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Isaac “Quan” Gibson
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Thomas “Tom-Tom” Watson

Theron “T. Streets” Lewis will be eligible for parole in 28 years, after Montgomery County Judge Frances McGee handed down her sentence. Lewis was convicted of murdering Gibson on Oct. 30 after jury deliberations lasted less than one day.

County prosecutors said Lewis, 24, and Keith Watson, both members of DVH, were involved in an argument with Gibson, 25, at a cookout in honor of homicide victim Thomas “Tom-Tom” Watson.

A fight ensued and Lewis shot and killed Gibson, police said.

Tom-Tom Watson, 25, was a high-ranking member of the DVH gang when he was gunned down in broad daylight on a basketball court in College Hill Park in April. Chamare Mays is awaiting trial in that case.

Lewis still faces charges for shooting at mourners filing out of a church in May after funeral services were held for Raymond “Byrd” McDaniel. McDaniel was killed days before in a gang-related attack outside apartments in the 1800 block of North James H. McGee Boulevard.

Gibson’s family maintains he is not a member of any gang, though police said he was a member of 100 Block Boyz.


Firefighters want donations to help kids in need

DAYTON - The International Association of Firefighters Dayton Local 136 wants toy donations for area kids in need this holiday season.

Firefighters are asking for any donations of new and unwrapped toys to help hundreds of children have a special holiday season. For more information call (937) 479-6696. Items can be dropped off at any of the city’s 12 fire stations:

• Station 2, 1009 E. Third St. • Station 4, 300 N. Main St. • Station 8, 2636 Stanley Ave. • Station 10, 1234 S. Broadway St. • Station 11, 145 Warren St. • Station 12, 4236 Brandt Pike • Station 13, 1723 W. Third St. • Station 14, 2213 N. Main St. • Station 15, 2801 Wayne Ave. • Station 16 4111 Kings Highway • Station 17, 4118 W. Third St. • Station 18, 207 S. Smithville Road


Arrested gang member says gun bought at local show

DAYTON - Officers on the Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence arrested a Dayton View Hustler gang member for having a semiautomatic handgun he said was purchased at Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Show.

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Michael Howard Jr., 19

Michael Howard Jr., 19, is in Montgomery County Jail on a having weapons while under disability charge after undercover agents with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force got a tip that drugs were being sold by DVH members out of an apartment at 229 Victor Ave., according to a police report.

The CIRGV officers arrived about 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, to hear loud music coming from Howard’s apartment, the report stated. Suddenly the music shut off and Howard opened the front door.

Officers noticed a small amount of marijuana next to a television and found a Hi-Point C9 9-millimeter handgun with nine bullets in the clip inside, the report stated.

Howard told them he gave his uncle $130 to buy the gun from Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Show, the report stated. Officers checked and the gun was not reported stolen.

Howard told the officers he was addicted to marijuana and was trying to stop smoking, the report stated. Howard has been cited three times in about a year for possession of marijuana, the report stated.

Nothing else was found in the apartment, the report stated.


Police officer arrested for attempted murder of ex-girlfriend

WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County - A Columbus-area police officer is in Montgomery County Jail on an attempted murder charge after he allegedly abducted his ex-girlfriend and tried to drown her in a ditch.

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Joshua Gearhart, 27

Joshua Gearhart, 27, an auxiliary police officer with the Whitehall Police Department, was spotted near Leona Lane and Ohio 725 about 6 a.m. Sunday by sheriff’s deputies after witnesses reported a woman in the road, Maj. Scott Landis said.

Deputies found the woman covered in mud and grass clippings and soaking wet at a Shell Gas Station at Ohio 741 and Ohio 725, Landis said.

The woman said Gearhart, a former Columbus police officer, drove from there and the two went out Saturday night, Landis said. At some point, Gearhart requested she “do something for him,” and made threats that he would harm her if she didn’t, Landis said.

An argument ensued and the woman grabbed the keys from Gearhart’s truck and fled on foot, Landis said. Gearhart caught up with her, tried to drag her back to his truck and the two wrestled in a ditch full of water, Landis said.

Gearhart allegedly tried to drown the woman in the ditch, but failed, Sheriff Phil Plummer said. The woman is physically OK, Plummer said.

County prosecutors today approved a felony abduction charge against Gearhart, which allowed deputies to get a warrant that will keep him in jail, Landis said.

Gearhart was fired from the Columbus Police Department last fall after an internal investigation, the Columbus Dispatch reported at the time.

As a Columbus officer Gearhart was involved in the fatal shooting of a man who pointed a gun at officers, the newspaper reported.

He now serves as a part-time officer with the Whitehall Police Department, investigators said.


DP&L helps fatal fire victims

DAYTON - Dayton Power and Light has stepped in to help a family displaced by a triple fatal fire, as donations pour in for a family who said they lost nearly everything.

Tabitha Coleman said Monday, Nov. 23, she now has electricity at her new apartment and has received a lot of donations over the weekend.

Coleman, her boyfriend Tranel Philpot and son Isaiah, were next door in the same duplex at 2820 E. First St. that nearly burned to the ground Nov. 12.

The blaze killed her neighbors Kennetha Gay, Gay’s 3-month-old son Ken’Ron Treadwell and 4-year-old daughter Mirissa Gay. Those three were laid to rest Monday in front of a packed house at the House of Wheat Funeral Home.

Coleman said she was “grateful” for the numerous items she received, but could still use furniture for her place on North Jersey Street.

Coleman, 22, and Isaiah, 2, are thankful to be alive, but they’ve lost everything.

DP&L spokeswoman Lesley Sprigg said comments made by Coleman and her landlord Mark Pardue that the company was trying to charge $175 to transfer service was not correct.

“(DP&L) does not charge customers to transfer service,” Sprigg said.

Coleman said a technician was out to transfer the service this morning.

Anyone who wishes to drop off furniture, food or toiletries to Coleman and her family can leave them at 212 N. Jersey St.


Juvenile arrested in drug-related shooting death of 19-year-old

DAYTON - A 16-year-old boy and possible relative of Trenton Scroggins has been arrested for his shooting death, according to police.

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Trenton Scroggins, 19

The juvenile, who turned 16 on Saturday, Nov. 21, was involved in shooting Scroggins that day about 8 p.m. over a drug debt, Sgt. Gary White said. Police are not releasing the juvenile’s name, but said he could be Scroggins’ cousin.

Scroggins, 19, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital with four gunshot wounds in a friend’s car but was later transported by ambulance to Miami Valley Hospital where he died about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.

White said the shooting appears to be gang-related and numerous witnesses to the shooting are not cooperating in the investigation.

Officers responded to an initial report of four men were chasing a man down Willowwood Drive near Shadyside Drive while shooting at him about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, police said.

They arrived to find blood and shell casings, but no victim.

Police reports show Scroggins had a criminal past that started when he was a juvenile. His mother, Crystal Scroggins, told officers when her son was 17 he was “bipolar” and needed medication, according to a report.

As a juvenile Scroggins was arrested on a felony aggravated robbery charge where he used a toy gun to steal a DVD player and compact discs, according to a police report.

He more than once cut off his monitoring ankle bracelet while on house arrest, a report stated.

Scroggins was arrested in August on a misdemeanor public indecency charge after groping a 19-year-old woman in public. In that report an officer wrote Scroggins was “a known drug trafficker” who uses Third and Main streets to “ply his trade.”

Scroggins is the city’s 37th homicide victim this year and fourth this month. To check the status of all homicides since 2008 and view an interactive map where they occurred, click here.

The arrested juvenile is in the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center and is expected to appear in court some time today, police said.


Suspected heroin user found slumped over in car with foot on brake

DAYTON - A 25-year-old man is facing a felony drug possession charge after officers and paramedics found him slumped over his running car’s steering wheel at a stop sign Thursday, Nov. 19.

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Christopher Moats, 25

Christopher Moats told officers he injected heroin into his body and then must have passed out while driving, according to a police report.

His car was in drive when paramedics arrived, but his foot was on the brake, keeping the vehicle from moving, the report stated.

Officers found capsules in the car that contained heroin and one empty capsule, the report stated. Moats was taken to Montgomery County Jail on a felony drug possession charge and his car was impounded, the report stated.

He told officers on the way to jail he needed help with his heroin addiction, the report stated.


Alleged drug dealer tells police he was helping Girl Scouts

DAYTON - Task force agents with the Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence said they foiled a drug deal for Vicodin pills Thursday, Nov. 19, and made a more surprising discovery while searching the alleged seller’s SUV.

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Lacory Adams, 28

The Dayton Police officers were patrolling the area of 2000 Needmore Road about 7 p.m. when they noticed Lacory Adams’ SUV parked near a sedan belonging to another man, according to a police report.

Adams was bent over, leaning on the other man’s car window, when officers pulled up to ask the men questions, the report stated.

Adams said he was selling the man 20 Vicodin pills for $50 and was selling drugs to help his daughter’s Girl Scouts troop, the report stated.

He gave officers consent to search his SUV, where they found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with seven rounds, including one in the chamber, the report stated.

Adams, 28, said he and his girlfriend bought the gun at a recent “gun and knife show” for protection, the report stated.

The other man, 31, told the officers he needed the pills because he has back problems, the report stated. Both of the suspects’ cars were towed, and the men were taken to Montgomery County Jail.

Adams faces felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon and drug trafficking. The second man was later released from jail without charges being filed.


Hospital security helps arrest man who stole purse from pregnant patient

DAYTON - A Miami Valley Hospital security officer helped arrest a man who was seen walking near the hospital with a black purse belonging to an expectant mother at the hospital.

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Richano V. Fisher, 34

The officer noticed Richano V. Fisher, 34, carrying the bag about 2:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, and approached the man, asking what he was doing with the purse, according to a police report.

Fisher, who lives at 500 Bowie Drive, said he was getting the purse for his “baby’s momma” and was walking back to the hospital to give it to her, the report stated. The security officer asked Fisher to look inside the purse and noticed the identification inside belonged to a different woman, the report stated.

The officer determined the purse belonged a patient at the hospital and called Dayton Police officers to assist him with detaining Fisher, the report stated.

Inside the hospital, Dayton officers found the owner of the purse, who said it went missing about 11 p.m. after she and her husband fell asleep in her room, the report stated.

The woman’s husband, who declined to be named, said his wife was in the maternity ward at the hospital and Fisher came in while they were sleeping. He said they didn’t notice anyone come in the room and were shocked when hospital security notified them of the theft.

Hospital spokeswoman Nancy Thickel said she was checking into the incident about 1:30 p.m. and would release any details she could later this afternoon.

Outside Fisher became combative with officers, who transported him to Montgomery County Jail. Fisher is expected to appear in court Friday, Nov. 20, on a felony charge of receiving stolen property, according to jail records.

Court and jail records show Fisher is a habitual offender with numerous arrests for domestic violence, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and aggravated robbery.


Man’s shooting death could be related to brother’s killing

DAYTON - Leads in the ambush-shooting death of Cornelius Maxwell Jr. have steered homicide detectives back to his brother’s 1997 slaying.

Lead homicide detective Sgt. Gary White said today, Nov. 18, “We are looking into the possibility of Cornelius’ murder being related to his brother’s murder in 1997. There is nothing solid at this time.”

White declined to say how the two killings might be related.

Cornelius Maxwell, 40, was shot more than a dozen times by a gunman who approached on foot while firing an AK-47 at his car Nov. 9, police said. Maxwell was on his way to work about 6 a.m. when the incident occurred in the 4700 block of Blueberry Avenue.

His death was the third homicide in four days. John R. Morgan, 36, was stabbed to death and Chad DeWitt, 23, shot during an alleged robbery attempt in unrelated incidents on Nov. 6.

In Cornelius Maxwell’s killing, White said the gunman might have known his routine and was waiting. Maxwell, who served time in the U.S. Army in the early 1990s, lived with his parents, police said.

His brother, Eric Maxwell, was shot in similar fashion in 1997, though no one was ever arrested. His homicide investigation remains open, White said.

Morgan’s killer also remains at large. Police said the man who killed DeWitt was acting in self defense.


Officers find exposed man passed out on front steps

DAYTON - A 30-year-old man is facing a misdemeanor public indecency charge after officers found him passed out on the front steps and partially nude Tuesday, Nov. 17.

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Matthew D. Emrick,30

Residents at 30 S. Terry St. said they were trying to help Matthew D. Emrick about 5 p.m. because he was acting strange, but they called police when he became uncooperative, according to a police report.

By the time officers arrived, Emrick was passed out on the front steps and had urinated, the report stated.

Emrick woke up and became combative, swearing at officers and reeking of alcohol, the report stated. He was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.


City wants train-trestle bridge used by homeless torn down

DAYTON - City officials are in discussions with the Norfolk Southern Railway Corp. to tear down an abandoned train trestle bridge now used as a tent-housing complex by the area’s homeless.

Engineers from the city and the railway company examined the bridge that runs over South Patterson Boulevard, just south of Apple Street within the last two weeks, city spokesman Tom Biedenharn confirmed Monday, Nov. 16.

Biedenharn said no decision has been made yet about the bridge coming down.

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Homeless pitch their tents on an abandon rail road trestle near the Vietnam Memorial Park in Dayton.
Staff photo by Jim Noelker

A call to Norfolk Southern seeking comment Monday afternoon has not yet been returned. The company owns the bridge and must give the go-ahead to have it torn down, city officials said.

The bridge for years has been a home to homeless people who refuse to stay in area shelters, police said. Numerous tents have popped up on the bridge, though police on more than one occasion have tried to chase the vagabonds off.

Norfolk Southern officials were reportedly taken aback by the conditions on the bridge and are open to having it torn down, city officials said.

The bridge was also home to James Cundiff, 42, a homeless Tier III sex offender recently indicted for numerous attacks on women.

Police have said many living in the tents on the bridge refuse to stay in area shelters because of the rules they must follow.


Cab driver finds missing 3-year-old on street corner

DAYTON - A Dayton family is giving special thanks to a taxi driver who found a 3-year-old toddler that slipped out the back door and was wandering the streets Saturday, Nov. 14.

The child slipped out his house on Tip Top Avenue about 7 a.m. and was standing on the corner of Wayne and Holly avenues when taxi driver Paul Duncan noticed him, according to a police report.

Duncan put the boy in his cab and called the police. The boy was wearing a T-shirt, cotton pants and socks and couldn’t tell officers where he lived, the report stated.

Officer started going door to door asking if anyone was missing a boy, but no one claimed him, the report stated.

About 7:50 a.m. Sally Fryman called police and said her son was missing. Officers also made contact with the boy’s father Bobby Bennett, who was “frantically” combing the neighborhood for his son, the report stated.

Bennett said the boy knows how to unlock the back door and when he couldn’t find his son he noticed the back door was ajar, the report stated. The boy appeared to be missing for about 20 minutes before the cab driver noticed him.

Bennett said he was going to install new locks that day, the report stated. No one was charged with a crime and the boy was fortunately OK.


Paramedics responding to flipped car on I-75

DAYTON - Paramedics are responding to the report of a trapped person in a car that has flipped on its top at Interstate 75/U.S. 35 interchange Thursday afternoon, Nov. 12.

It is unclear what caused the accident, but police temporarily closed all lanes of southbound I-75 about 2 p.m. Officers have since reopened at least one lane.

Injuries are unknown at this time.


At least four injured in multi-vehicle accident

DAYTON - Police said the driver of a van caused a two-vehicle accident at Huffman Avenue and Fifth Street this afternoon, Nov. 11, that sent four people to the hospital and closed the intersection in all directions.

At least one of the cars involved in the accident caught fire and woman was ejected from a Chevy Camaro, police said. All four people involved in the accident suffered non-life threatening injuries and were treated at Miami Valley Hospital, police said.

The male driver of the van, who has not been identified, ran a red light at the intersection and crashed into the Camaro which contained three women, Lt. Larry Faulkner said.

The accident shut down the intersection for more than 30 minutes and closed portions of East Fifth Street for nearly two hours, police said.

Alcohol and/or drugs were not a factor in the crash, police said.


Students on school bus help police in hit-and-run

DAYTON - Police are trying to sort out who was behind the wheel of a blue Chevy Caprice that struck a Dayton City Schools bus full of children and fled the scene.

Officers responded to the intersection of Kings Highway and DeWitt Avenue about 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, on the report of a bus struck by a car that ran a stop sign and then fled the scene, according to a police report.

Bus driver Lee Wilson told officers he was talking to the man driving the blue Caprice, when the driver said he was going to turn the car around, the report stated.

Students on the bus watched as the driver got in the car and took off. Officers found the vehicle nearby at 1808 DeWitt Ave. with a man standing beside it, the report stated.

The students said the man, Michael Thornton who is the owner of the car, was not the driver when it struck the bus. Despite witness statements Thornton insisted that he was the driver, the report stated.

Marquasha Stewart claimed to be the front-seat passenger in the the car at the time of the accident and said Thornton was the driver, the report stated.

After pressing Thornton for more details, the man admitted to police he was not the driver. Stewart insisted he was, but based on Wilson’s statement and the students on the bus, officers determined Thornton was not the driver.

Neither Stewart nor Thornton have been charged in the accident, the report stated. Police are still investigating the accident.

The students on the bus were treated for minor injuries, the report stated.

No additional suspects were listed in the police report.


Potato chip delivery man robbed at gunpoint by juvenile

DAYTON - Police are looking for a teenager who robbed a Mike-Sells Potato Chips delivery driver at the Express Foods convenience store Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The driver 51-year-old James Montgomery, said he was unloading chips about 5 p.m. at 2050 N. Gettysburg Ave. when a teenager in a black hooded sweatshirt approached and pulled a gun, according to a police report.

The gunman demanded money, grabbed Montgomery’s jacket and took $89 in cash from a pocket, the report stated. Montgomery described the suspect as a 15-year-old black male, about 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, the report stated.

He said the gunman took off running toward the Cornell Ridge Apartments. Montgomery immediately called police and told officers at the scene there was surveillance video of the robbery, the report stated.

A K-9 unit was called to the scene and led officers down a dirt trail near the apartment complex, the report stated. But the dog lost the suspect’s scent near one of the apartment buildings.

Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call 333-COPS.


Suspected area graffiti artist arrested in Indiana for tagging buildings

A 23-year-old self-proclaimed graffiti artist wanted for tagging buildings and billboards in Dayton was arrested last week in Indianapolis for related crimes.

Miguel Villanueva, 23. Photo courtesy of Marion County Jail.

Miguel Villanueva, of Richmond, goes by “CHOKE” and has tagged buildings across the country with that moniker, including Las Vegas, Dayton and Cincinnati, police said.

Police in Indianapolis arrested Villanueva after he tagged dozens of city buildings and caused about $100,000 in damage, the Indianapolis Star reported Saturday. The newspaper said Villanueva was arrested by detectives at a tattoo parlor near Indianapolis.

Dayton police Lt. Larry Faulkner said Tuesday, Nov. 10, Villanueva is suspected of tagging downtown buildings in Dayton, as well as billboards along highways.

He was booked in Marion County Jail on $500 bond and has a court date scheduled for today, according to jail and court records.

The Indy Star reported police said Villanueva is part of a national “tagging” gang that tries to display its “art” on train cars and buildings.


Multi-vehicle pileup closes soutbound I-75

DAYTON - A seven-car pileup closed all southbound lane of Interstate 75 near Stanley Avenue for a few hours Tuesday morning, Nov. 10.

The accident happened about 10:15 a.m. and at least one person was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Dayton police said. At least one lane has since been reopened.

It is unclear what caused the crash, but it is not believed to be weather-related, police said. All lanes were reported reopened as of 2:50 p.m., police said.


Children’s hospital employee arrested for stealing Vicodin

DAYTON - A 28-year-old Dayton Children’s Medical Center pharmacy technician was arrested Monday, Nov. 9, on a felony theft charge after she confessed to stealing Vicodin pills.

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Jamie M. Norris, 28.

Jamie M. Norris said she took the pills to deal with the recent death of her father, but later said she was selling them to buy formula for her children, according to a police report.

Officials at the medical center said they launched an investigation after noticing a discrepancy in the amount of pills in their distribution center and questioned Norris about it, the report stated.

As a pharmacy technician Norris assisted pharmacists with the “preparation of medication for dispensing,” medical center spokeswoman Vicki Giambrone said.

Norris said she has been taking a small amount of Vicodin for about four to six weeks, the report stated. She changed her story again and said she was taking the pills for personal use, the report stated.

Officers arrived about 6:45 p.m. and found 13 Vicodin pills in her purse, the report stated. Norris said she had already taken two of the pills while at work.

She was then taken to the Montgomery County Jail on the theft charge. Norris has since been fired from her job at the medical center, Giambrone said.


Man arrested after trying to set woman on fire over $10

DAYTON - A 46-year-old who tried to stab and set a woman on fire Saturday, Nov. 7, has been arrested on felony assault and burglary charges.

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George E. Combs Jr., 46

Officers were called 4447 Foxton Court about 10:20 p.m. by witnesses who said “male and female fighting about a crack pipe,” according to a police report.

Mary Akers, 47, told police George E. Combs Jr. had a gas can and was trying to set a truck on fire while she was inside the vehicle, the report stated. Officers noticed Akers had a cut on her head and bruising under her left eye, the report stated.

Akers said she and Combs’ girlfriend, Andrea Fradl, were inside her apartment when he broke into her place, the report stated.

Fradl said the incident started when Combs came in the home “intoxicated” and “belligerent,” while demanding $10, the report stated.

Combs hit Fradl in the face after she told him “no,” the report stated. Combs then went outside and flattened tires on Fradl’s truck, the report stated. He returned with a lighter and gas can and tried to pour gas on Fradl, Akers told the officers.

Fradl said she then fled to her truck and locked the doors, the report stated. Combs, armed with a knife and gas can, followed and opened a window in the back of truck, she told police. Combs swung the knife wildly inside the truck, cutting Fradl and threatening “to kill” her, the report stated.

Combs ran from the scene right before police arrived, but was found by officers nearby sitting down near an access road, the report stated. He was arrested on felony burglary and assault charges and also faces two misdemeanor assault and criminal damaging charges, the report stated.

He is in the Montgomery County Jail.


Man raking leaves uncovers loaded gun in bushes

DAYTON - A 42-year-old man raking his leaves in his front yard uncovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his bushes Saturday, Nov. 7.

George Watson Jr. was trying to clean up his yard in the 500 block of Kenilworth Avenue about 12:30 p.m. when he noticed a black, 9-millimeter Highpoint gun in his bushes, according to a police report.

Officers arrived and found a bullet in the chamber, but there was no magazine, the report stated. The serial number had been scratched off, making it impossible for officers to identify the original owner of the gun, the report stated.


City’s 34th homicide victim was stabbed to death

DAYTON - The 36-year-old man stabbed to death somewhere near the 1900 block of Grand Avenue has been identified as John R. Morgan Jr., according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

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John R. Morgan Jr., 36, was found dead Friday morning, Nov. 6.

Morgan collapsed and died outside on apartment complex about 4 a.m. today, Nov. 6, after he was stabbed in the neck, police said. A resident heard a knock on the door, a crash and then looked out to see the man down on the ground, police said.

Homicide detectives believe Morgan might have been stabbed at another location and walked to the area where he collapsed, based on evidence found near the scene.

Lead homicide detective Sgt. Gary White said there are no suspects in the stabbing and no known motive at this time.

Morgan was a known drug dealer to police, according to police reports. He was arrested and booked into Montgomery County Jail on Sept. 29 for soliciting to sell illegal drugs at 600 N. Broadway Ave., according to a police report.

Scott Peters, 38, told an undercover drug unit detective then that Morgan was helping him $5 worth of crack cocaine, the report stated. Peters was arrested for loitering to buy illegal drugs and solicitation, the report stated.

Morgan is the city’s 34th homicide victim this year. You can track the investigation of his death and all the others from this year and 2008 by clicking here.


Woman told not to leave kids in car does so twice in one day

DAYTON - A 20-year-old woman was arrested on two felony child endangering charges Thursday, Nov. 5, after authorities warned her twice in the same day not to leave her children alone in the car.

Angela N. Duncan, 20

Angela N. Duncan left a 12-month-old boy and 9-month-old girl outside the YWCA on West Third Street before 11 p.m., police said. A passerby noticed the children alone in a 1998 green Honda Civic and called police about 11 p.m., police said.

Duncan is the guardian of both children, police said.

Duncan had been warned by police and Montgomery County Children’s Services earlier that day after she left the kids in the car for about 30 minutes, Children’s Services spokeswoman Ann Stevens said.

A passerby also noticed the children alone in the car and called police in that instance, Stevens said.

“We talked to her (after the first incident) about not doing that,” Stevens said. “Then the same thing happened again. The children have been placed in foster care and are doing just fine.”

Stevens said it’s never OK to leave children unattended.

“It only takes a second for something to go wrong,” Stevens said.


19-year-old shot in leg over $10

DAYTON - Police are looking for a gunman who robbed and shot a 19-year-old man in the 1900 block of Oakridge Drive Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Witnesses reported shots being fired near Smith’s Market in the 200 block of Lorenz Avenue about 7 p.m. and officers arrived to find Ibny Johnson on the ground a few blocks away.

Johnson said a young, light-skinned black male, age 18 to 21, about 6-feet tall and slender, approached wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a mask over his face, according to a police report.

The gunman asked Johnson for whatever he had and then fired shots into the air, Johnson told police. The gunman then told Johnson to run after Johnson laid the $10 bill on the ground, the report stated.

As Johnson ran away the gunman fired at least two more shots, hitting Johnson once in the leg. Johnson was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for the non-life threatening gunshot wound, the report stated.

He is expected to be OK.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call 333-COPS.


Dayton cops with masks preparing for airborne emergency

DAYTON - All 395 Dayton Police officers are getting specialized breathing masks fitted this week as part of the department’s U.S. Department of Homeland Security training.

Dayton Police Sgt. Maurice Speaks gets his mask fitted and tested at department headquarters in downtown Dayton Thursday, Nov. 5.
Dayton Sgt. Maurice Speaks does exercises to make sure his mask fits correctly while moving as Officer Aaron Fraley monitors his breathing on a computer.
Dayton Sgt. Maurice Speaks breaths through his mask while Officer Aaron Fraley monitors his breathing on a computer.

Each officer in the department must go through a breathing procedure while reading, exercising and at rest to make sure their masks do not allow in harmful airborne particles or let clean air escape, Det. Wes Hale said Thursday, Nov. 5.

Hale lights candles, which submit dirty particles in the air, and then hooks up an officer’s mask up to a computer that notifies if the particles are entering or air is escaping.

The training is part of Homeland Security training implemented by the federal government. Each officer is issued a mask and, at various times, must be tested to make sure the mask fits, Hale said.

“If an officer loses weight, gains weight, shaves a beard or mustache that can affect the seal (of the mask),” Hale said. “We have to make sure they fit correctly.”

But Hale said the masks are not used for just terrorist attacks.

“Train derailments” would be an example, he said. A derailed train can release harmful gases that could kill or seriously compromise an officer’s ability to help at the scene, Hale said.

The tests show that local police departments are always preparing for an airborne or terrorist attack, Hale said.


State agency investigated suspended Dayton police officer

DAYTON - A veteran Dayton Police Officer was asked to turn in his badge and weapon Tuesday, Nov. 3, after two separate criminal investigations found he might have broken the law.

Officer Alan Parker has been suspended after an organized crime task force within state Attorney General Richard Cordray’s office investigated for more than a year the officer’s use of a statewide criminal database, police said.

Cordray’s spokeswoman Holly Hollingsworth is checking to see if she can confirm his office was involved in the investigation.

Parker is also the focus of a DPD internal investigation, but details of that investigation are unknown.

Police Chief Richard Biehl said this afternoon Parker was suspended for misuse of a police computer and for job performance, but declined to elaborate. He said both investigations have been submitted to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.

Parker has not been fired and is not facing any criminal charges at this time, police union president Randy Beane said.

“If the allegations are true then he does not deserve to wear the badge,” Beane said. “We are professionals and are held to a higher standard.”

Parker is a patrol officer in the department’s second-district which covers the southeastern portion of the city. He has been with the department 19 years, Biehl said.

Parker’s personnel file contained three reprimands including: one written reprimand issued on Oct. 14 for “submitting overlapping overtime entries resulting in being erroneously overpaid for the same hours worked.”

He received an oral reprimand on August 27 for investigating a hit-and-run accident at 2921 Linden Ave. and not submitting a report until Sept. 16, according to documents in his file. The other oral reprimand was for not filing correct medical paperwork before returning to full duty.

Parker has also received six written commendations in his career including; for his investigation that led to arrest of drug dealers in 1993, recovering a stolen car in 2002 and involvement in numerous other arrests.

Parker is the second officer to be investigated for misuse of police computers. Officer Phillip Brooks Sr. in April was suspended indefinitely after an internal investigation found he allegedly used a department database to find impounded cars and sell them illegally.

Brooks, who has since left the department, was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to the investigation and his case is still pending.


U.S. Marshals arrest suspect in fatal bar beating

DAYTON - U.S. Marshals have arrested the man Trotwood police said pistol-whipped and beat Stephen Moody to death outside Higgins Station Bar in September.

Richard Evans, 29

Richard Evans, 29, was arrested about 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in his girlfriend’s apartment building at 3321 Valerie Arms Drive, U.S. Deputy Marshal Chad Simpson said.

Evans was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on felonious assault and having weapons while under disability charges. Simpson said those were the charges issued in the original arrest warrant.

It is unclear if the charges will be upgraded to manslaughter or murder, he said.

Trotwood police said at the time Evans pistol-whipped Moody about his head outside the bar on Sept. 26, sending Moody to Miami Valley Hospital. Moody lapsed into a coma and died on Oct. 4.

Investigators said witness statements led them to believe Moody was trying to break up a fight outside the bar and was beaten by Evans.

Simpson said Evans has been on the run since the attack, bouncing between Columbus and Dayton. Simpson said a tip led U.S. Marshals to believe Evans was at his girlfriend’s apartment Monday.

Evans’ girlfriend was not arrested.

Trotwood police temporarily shut down Higgins Station last week after a judge approved a temporary restraining order in response to two homicides and numerous other instances of violence at the bar.

You can check the status of Moody’s homicide investigation and all other homicides from this year and 2008 by clicking here.


Trotwood father indicted for abuse of 13-month-old child

DAYTON - A Trotwood father indicted last week on two felony counts of child endangering turned himself in Monday, Nov. 1, to Dayton police.

Brandon E. Beatty Sr.jpg
Brandon Beatty Sr., 23

Brandon Beatty Sr., 23, was arrested about 6:45 p.m. and is in the Montgomery County Jail. A grand jury on Oct. 28 indicted Beatty on a second-degree felony charge of child endangering, causing serious physical harm, and a third-degree felony charge of child endangering, parent causing serious harm, according to court records.

The charges are related to an Aug. 31 incident involving his 13-month-old son, said Greg Flannagan, spokesman for the county prosecutor’s office. The child was taken to Dayton Children’s Medical Center with bruising and other injuries all over his body suffered while in Beatty’s care, Flannagan said.

“The injuries (to the child) were not consistent to what the father was saying,” Flannagan said.

Beatty is expected in court on Nov. 5 at 8:30 a.m. for an arraignment hearing, Flannagan said.

The child was placed in his mother’s custody and Montgomery County Children’s Services is still monitoring the situation, agency spokeswoman Ann Stevens said.


Police shoot aggressive pit bull after attack on its owner

DAYTON - A police officer had to shoot and kill an aggressive, bloody pit bull Monday, Nov. 2, after it refused orders to stop attacking its owner and another dog.

Fire crews were called to 5650 Woodbine Ave. about 2:30 p.m. on an animal attack and arrived to find the dog attacking Ronald Mustaine, 54, who already had significant wounds to his neck, arms and head, according to a police report.

Mustaine tried to get his black and white licensed pit bull off his beagle, but was unsuccessful. The pit bull then turned on Mustaine, the report stated.

Firefighters tried to get the 65-pound dog off Mustaine with a hook, but eventually had to use a fire extinguisher to get the pit bull to release its grip, the report stated.

Mustaine was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with serious injuries to his throat, arms and face, the report stated. He is expected to be OK.

The licensed beagle was bitten on its shoulders and heads, but was expected to be OK. An officer from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center responded to take care of both dogs.


Couple overdoses on heroin at Family Dollar with infant in car

DAYTON - A 6-month-old infant has been placed in foster care by Montgomery County Children’s Services after witnesses at a Family Dollar store found two adults slumped over in a car from apparent heroin overdoses, police said.

Bryan Watkins.jpg
Bryan Watkins, 25

Officers responded to 1 E. Helena about 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, after a woman noticed the couple passed out with an infant in the back seat, according to a police report.

Bryan Watkins, 25, was pacing around a 2001 Chevy Malibu when officers arrived and told them he thought something was wrong with his girlfriend, Jamie Banks, the report stated.

Watkins said Banks was blue and having trouble breathing, the report stated.

But witnesses said Watkins was in and out of consciousness as they removed Banks’ son from the backseat of the car, the report stated. The baby was placed in a witnesses car until police arrived, the report stated.

Watkins later said he got out of the car and disposed of syringes his girlfriend used to inject heroin into her system, the report stated.

Dayton Fire Department medics arrived and were able to stabilize Banks, who was transported to Grandview Medical Center where she told officers Watkins had also consumed two capsules of heroin, the report stated.

Watkins showed officers where he dumped the syringes and they were recovered in a dumpster near the Family Dollar, the report stated.

Banks was issued a summons to appear in court on a child endangering charge, the report stated. Watkins was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on felony charges of permitting drug abuse and tampering with evidence.

He also faces a misdemeanor child-endangering charge, according to jail records.


Alleged arsonist arrested after wife says he set fires to home

DAYTON - A 33-year-old man was arrested on arson charges Friday, Oct, 30, after his wife told officers he twice set a vacant house on fire within a week so city officials would tear it down.

Jason E. North.jpg
Jason L. North, 33, is in Montgomery County on a felony arson charge.

Jason L. North is in Montgomery County Jail on a felony arson charge after police and fire investigators determined he again set the house at 341 E. Lincoln St. just before midnight Friday, according to a police report.

North’s wife, Sheila, told a neighbor earlier in the week it was her husband who set the house on fire on Tuesday morning. That fire was ruled an arson as investigators found chemicals and trash were used to start the flames, the report stated.

Fire crews have extinguished flames at the home three times since August and all three incidents have been ruled arson, fire officials said.

Sheila North, 34, said her husband tried three times Friday to light cardboard boxes on fire before flames started to spread, the report stated. It was Sheila North who then called 911, the report stated.

The fire was quickly extinguished and caused minor damage, the report stated.

Sheila North said her husband wanted to cause enough damage to the house that the city would tear it down, the report stated. She said Jason North was “tired” of the “smell, the raccoons and the bums that stay there,” the report stated.

Jason North is expected to appear in court today, Nov. 2, at 1:30 p.m., according to jail records. The house has been the site of three arson fires since August.



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