Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 5:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 12:30 AM

Ohio man charged with plowing car into Virginia rally crowd

An Ohio man is accused of driving into a crowd of people, killing a 32-year-old Virginia woman and injuring 35 others.

  • Suspect identified as James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee
  • Fields faces second-degree murder, other charges
  • Woman killed is Heather Heyer of Virginia
  • 2 troopers die in helicopter crash linked to incident

UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Aug. 13)

A woman who identified herself as the mother of James Alex Fields Jr. said she was aware her son was headed to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Samantha Bloom said her son sent a text message last week that he had time off work and was going to the rally. Bloom told her son “to be careful” and peaceful, she said.

She and Fields had just moved to the Toledo area from Florence, Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati, she said.

RELATED: Wright State University men’s soccer team returns from Charlottesville, takes to the field

Fields is charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury, the Charlottesville Police Department announced Saturday. He is being held in the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail for the deadly crash at Fourth and Water streets in the city that claimed the life of 32-year-old Heather Hayer and injured 35 others.

RELATED: 3 dead, 35 injured after ‘Unite the Right’ rally sparks violence in Charlottesville

On Saturday, Virginia State Police also connected the deaths of two troopers who died in a helicopter crash to the rally. Police said Lt. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed in the crash that happened outside Charlottesville a few hours after the car plowed into the group of people.

The organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville told the Associated Press that the man who drove into the group of counter-protesters “did the wrong thing.” He also criticized law enforcement’s response to the event and its ability to control chaos to allow free speech.

UPDATE @ 9:10 p.m.

A 20-year-old Ohio man is identified as the suspect who rammed a car into a crowd of people Saturday afternoon as they dispersed in Charlottesville.

The suspect is James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail, CNN reported. Fields is held on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, CNN reported.

A 32-year-old woman who was crossing the street was killed and 19 people were injured, the Associated Press confirmed with hospital officials.

The car allegedly driven by Fields around 2 p.m. plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters of the “Unite the Right” rally, which opposed the state’s decision to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Ohio plates on car that plowed Virginia crowd

FIRST REPORT

A car that plowed into a group of people Saturday afternoon after crowds dispersed in Charlottesville has Ohio plates.

One person was killed and 19 injured when the car that appears to be a gray Dodge Challenger with Ohio plates crashed into a crowd of protesters leaving a “Unite the Right” rally. Officials declared the rally an “unlawful assembly” and shut it down before it began because of clashes between protesters and counter-protesters.

Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The rally was to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(AP)

The driver, whose name has not been released, is in custody, according to state officials.

The Ohio license plate shows a county code of 48 in the bottom left; this corresponds to Lucas County in northwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Toledo is the largest city in the county, which has a border with Lake Erie.

The protest was sparked by the state’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Thief unwittingly leaves wallet, photo ID at crime scene

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 11:00 PM

A thief unwittingly turned himself in after leaving his wallet behind after leaving a Dayton store.

Police said they were dispatched to Dollar General on 2312 N. Main St. in Dayton around 8 a.m. Saturday, and found a wallet left behind by one of the suspects. Police found several items with the suspect’s name on them, including a photo ID. 

The second suspect was identified as a heavyset man between 30 and 40, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt. The suspect ran away on foot south through the nearby alley, appearing to have several items hidden under his sweatshirt. 

According to reports, police found hangers with five children’s outfits near the wallet, as well as three packs of Ivory soap and a Halloween mask.

Dayton K-9 unit searching for armed robbery suspect

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:32 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:31 AM

UPDATE @ 10:32 a.m.

Police continue to search for the suspect in a reported armed robbery at a Dayton Dollar General Saturday morning.

Dispatchers said police have yet to find a person matching the description of the suspect.

INITIAL REPORT

Dayton police are searching for a man who reportedly robbed a South Gettysburg business at gunpoint Saturday morning, according to dispatchers. 

Crews were dispatched to the Dollar General at 888 South Gettysburg Avenue around 9:12 on a reported armed robbery. 

Initial reports indicate a man in a black ball cap robbed the store and left on foot in an unknown direction. 

Dispatchers reported police are using a K-9 unit to search for the suspect in the area. 

We will continue to follow updates in this developing story.

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Florida man arrested after bombs, ammo, school maps found in home

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

Bombs, Ammo, School Maps Found In Florida Home, Man Arrested

A Florida man was arrested after homemade bombs, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and school maps were discovered inside his bedroom. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news conference Thursday that deputies were set to search the home Randall Drake, 24, of Dunedin, Florida, shared with his parents for a child pornography investigation.

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During a search of Drake’s bedroom on Wednesday, authorities said detectives found explosives and numerous firearms in a locked closet, The Associated Press reported.

The weapons included the following:

  • An AK-47 rifle with a 60-round clip
  • A .308-caliber rifle
  • A .50-caliber pistol
  • A 12-gauge shotgun
  • Numerous other handguns
  • About 15 knives
  • A baseball bat with protruding nails in it 
  • A crossbow
  • Brass knuckles
  • A container of gunpowder
  • More than 2,300 rounds of ammunition
  • Three incendiary devices
  • A homemade silencer
  • Tactical vests

Detectives also said they found a map and aerial images of an elementary and middle school in Tampa, Florida, as well as the Hillsborough County Water Treatment Plant. According to deputies, journals and a handwritten letter that talked about revenge were also discovered.

In this undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a weapons cache is shown in the home of Randall Drake.(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP/AP)

Gualtieri said his office is trying to figure out why Drake had the incendiary devices and what he was going to do with them.

Drake has since posted $20,000 bond. He faces two charges of unlawfully making, possessing or attempting to make a destructive device.

Dayton thief drops T-bone steaks down his shorts

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:37 AM

Police are searching for a man who dropped three T-bone steaks down his shorts.

Officers were dispatched at 8:40 p.m. Friday to Groceryland, 1451 Troy St. in Dayton to a report of a theft.

The store manager told police he was walking down the meat aisle when he became suspicious by the behavior of a man talking to another customer. The manager later saw the man run out the front entrance. He ran after him, but lost sight of him after he went behind the store, according to a Dayton police report.

The manager showed police surveillance video footage, which shows the thief grab three T-bone steaks, which each cost between $10 and $20. Then, in a different aisle, the suspect places the steaks down his shorts, the report stated.

No arrests have been made.