JUST IN:


Suspect ID’d in Liberty Twp. standoff 

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 9:55 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 14, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

Standoff involving 10-year-old hostage in Butler Co. continues
Standoff involving 10-year-old hostage in Butler Co. continues

UPDATE @ 11:34 a.m: The suspect in the Liberty Twp. standoff where a 10-year-old boy was held hostage for nearly 30 hours has been identified as 31-year-old Donald Tobias Gazaway, according to Butler County law enforcement.

According to our partners at WCPO, Gazaway was booked in Butler County Jail on charges of kidnapping, felenious assault, and inducing panic, per the online county records. 

Gazaway surrendered to police early Sunday morning. 

UPDATE @ 7:15 a.m (Jan. 14): A standoff where a 10-year-old boy was held hostage for nearly 30 hours is reportedly over.

According to our partners at WCPO, SWAT and other officials began to clear the scene at the Liberty Twp. townhomes around 6:30 a.m.

The 10-year-old boy is safe, and the suspect is in custody.

More information on the situation is expected from an official on scene shortly.

We will continue to update this story with additional details. 

ORIGINAL REPORT

A standoff involving a man who fired more than 20 rounds at law enforcement while holding a 10-year-old boy hostage in Liberty Twp. has entered its second day.

  • 10-year-old boy believed OK, not related to man
  • Boy lives at townhome where he’s held captive
  • Suspect fired more than 20 rounds in separate instances; law enforcement did not return fire
  • Sheriff to media: “It's a good sign when he's not shooting at us.”

UPDATE @ 1 a.m. (Jan. 14):

The standoff began about 1 a.m. at a townhome in the Springs at Liberty Township complex off Hamilton Mason Road in Butler County. Deputies with the agency’s SWAT team were still communicating with the suspect.

Sheriff Richard K. Jones said the situation is one of the longest in which he’s been involved.

“When we get called out to stuff like this usually we don’t expect it to be 24 hours … something like this we just do the best we can, take our time and make it happen,” Jones told our news partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

The sheriff earlier said when the suspect fired shots at two separate times that law enforcement did not return fire. He said the suspect keeps the boy close at all times, but that deputies have been able to talk to the suspect and boy.

UPDATE @ 7:45 p.m.:

Managers of the Springs at Liberty Township apartments are helping residents at the portion of the complex that was evacuated find accommodations at local hotels.

They also opened the hospitality area of the front office and are offering food and drinks for the residents displaced by an ongoing standoff situation involving a 10-year-old boy held hostage.

UPDATE @ 6:50 p.m.:

There has been no change in the hostage/standoff situation in Liberty Twp.

A man is holding a 10-year-old boy who is not related to him at a Springs at Liberty Township townhome.

» POPULAR THIS WEEK: 37 people indicted in Butler and Warren counties

The incident began around 1 a.m. following an argument. The suspect has fired rounds at law enforcement twice but no one was hit. The child is reported to be “OK,” and inside a car with the standoff suspect in the garage.

Our reporter on scene said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones expressed hope it could end by dark.

Sheriff Richard K. Jones says that negotiations with a man holding a child hostage in a West Chester apartment complex are going well and he’s encouraged that there will be a peaceful resolution.

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.:

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones recently spoke with media and our reporter who has been on the scene since this morning. Some of his quotes:

• “It's a good sign when he's not shooting at us.”

• "The little boy is OK at this point."

UPDATE @ 3:21 p.m.:

An armored vehicle has parked against the apartment where a man is holding a 10-year-old boy hostage at Springs at Liberty Twp.

It has been a little more than two hours since shots last came from the apartment, but no one was injured and there was no damage done.

Officials from multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the region are on the scene.

UPDATE @ 2:11 p.m.:

More law enforcement have arrived at the active standoff scene at which a man is holding a 10-year-old boy hostage inside an apartment at Springs at Liberty Township.

Butler County sheriff’s deputies are on scene, along with units from other area law enforcement agencies.

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UPDATE @ 1:10 p.m.:

Multiple gunshots were fired out of the apartment where a man is holding a 10-year-old boy hostage in Liberty Twp.

Nothing was struck by the shots, according to our reporter at the scene.

A view of the standoff at Springs at Liberty Township apartments as of 1:50 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. WAYNE BAKER / STAFF

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UPDATE @ 12:10 p.m.: 

A 10-year-old boy has been taken hostage following a disagreement Friday night at a Liberty Twp. apartment, according to officials.

The man has held the child hostage for several hours and fired rounds at officers and the department’s robot.

He has not made any demands and officials have been in contact with the child, who seems in good spirits, said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

“The boy seems fine at this time,” Jones said.

The man apparently is not related to the child.

It is still an active situation and several residents have been evacuated. 

INITIAL REPORT

Police are on the scene of a standoff in the 7100 block of Liberty West Drive early Saturday morning, according to a report confirmed by the Butler County Sheriff’s dispatch.

MORE: Delivery of Journal-News has been delayed today

The incident is at the Springs at Liberty Township apartment and complex and began shortly after 3 a.m. Law enforcement officials at the scene said there is a child involved in the situation, but no further information on the child was immediately available.

MORE: 37 people indicted in Butler and Warren counties

According to dispatchers, no further details are being released at this time.

We will update this story when more information becomes available.

Owner of dogs that killed ponies pleads guilty to misdemeanor

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:02 PM


            Howard Campbell’s grandchildren play with Simon, a miniature horse. Simon was one of three miniature horses attacked by dogs in St. Clair Twp. CONTRIBUTED Staff Writer
Howard Campbell’s grandchildren play with Simon, a miniature horse. Simon was one of three miniature horses attacked by dogs in St. Clair Twp. CONTRIBUTED Staff Writer

The owner of dogs that attacked miniature horses in St. Clair Twp. has pleaded guilty to failure to restrain the canines.

Terry Foister, of Wichita Drive, and formerly of Sipps Lane in St. Clair Twp., pleaded guilty in Hamilton Municipal Court today to the the minor misdemeanor. He was fined $150 by Judge Dan Gattermeyer.

MORE: Dogs that killed Butler County horses have been put down

For several days in December, Merbs was looking for two dogs that were part of an attack on pet horses in one week. Merbs said that sheriff’s office detectives questioned Foister, the suspected owner of the dogs, and he confessed the animals where his.

“He has no idea they were getting out or were going off the property,” Merbs said. He added Foister thought the dogs may have killed raccoons.

FIRST REPORT: Dogs killed 3 minature horses in Butler County

When Foister learned of the death of the horses, he killed the dogs, according to detectives.

A trio of dogs, described as either pit bulls or a pit bull mixed breed, attacked and killed one horse and mortally maimed another horse Dec. 16 at Mike Powell’s farm in the 1900 block of West Elkton Road, according to Merbs.

Eight-year-old Bella and 6-year-old Pablo died as a result of their injuries.

The remaining two dogs, one still stained with blood, attacked another miniature horse at a neighboring residence in the 2100 block of West Elkton.

“They went after his face and his tail. Just tore him up,” Howard Campbell told this news outlet about the attack on his miniature horse, Simon. “I was at work, my wife was out there. She was throwing rocks at (the dogs) trying to get them off (the horse).”

A veterinarian came to the aid of Simon, sewing him up, but by Saturday morning it was apparent the 16-year-old horse would not make it, according to Campbell.

Florida college student says man tried to touch her leg in on-campus parking garage

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:42 AM

Florida College Student Says Man Tried To Grab Her In Parking Garage

Police at the University of Central Florida are warning students to be on their guard after a woman said a man tried to assault her in a campus parking garage Monday.

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UCF police said a woman who attends the university was approached around 6 p.m. by an unknown man who asked for help with his car in Garage C. 

During the exchange, the man tried to touch the student's leg, police said, causing her to scream and run away. 

The student immediately called police and described the man as 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing glasses, a gray sweater and dark pants, she told authorities.

UCF police said the description of the incident closely matches two similar incidents that happened on campus within the past month and a half. 

In December, a student reported that she was inappropriately grabbed by a man inside the Business Administration II building, the UCF Police Department said.

The student told investigators that the incident happened at about 5:50 p.m., UCF police spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said.

The man, who she did not know, was lingering near a vending machine and started talking to her before grabbing her, Gilmartin said.

"It's just unfortunate that we have to deal with that here at UCF. I feel like we're so close as a family and as a university. It's incredible that we have to do this," UCF student Ponatoyas Jusakus said.

Investigators said the woman ran from the building and reported the incident about an hour later.

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The man was described as being dark-skinned with a thin build and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing a gray hoodie and jeans at the time of the incident, police said.

A similar incident happened in the same building Dec. 4, Gilmartin said. The victim in that case provided a similar description of the culprit, but no one was arrested.

>> On WFTV.com: Police: Woman screams for help, gets pushed into car at UCF

Police said they do not believe the two incidents are related to a similar encounter at Valencia College this week.

"Detectives are currently revisiting the case from last month and reviewing surveillance video from last night," Gilmartin said. "In regards to the incident at Valencia College Tuesday night, at this point, the circumstances and suspect descriptions do not match."

Report: Parents of 13 siblings allegedly kept captive were moving to Oklahoma

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Details Emerge About 13 Siblings Rescued From California Home

A report says David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, the California couple accused of allegedly holding 13 siblings captive in their home, were planning to move to Oklahoma.

ABC News reported that the parents was moving from California to Oklahoma days before they were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment, citing multiple unnamed sources.

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David Turpin was getting a job transfer with a defense contractor he was working with, according to ABC News. Moving boxes were reportedly found at the residence. The report says the family has moved to multiple places over the years, including a home in Texas.

The couple’s 17-year-old daughter had escaped the home early Jan. 14 and called 911, saying her 12 siblings were “being held captive” at a Perris, California, residence by her parents.

Related: Parents accused of holding their 13 children captive appear in court

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a Jan. 15 news release that the siblings, ranging in ages from 2 to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” Six of the siblings are minors.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture and a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress. The siblings could only have one meal a day and take one shower a year.

Related: DA: Captive siblings limited to one meal a day, one shower a year

Two dogs were found by authorities in the home, according to city spokesman Joe Vargo. Vadrgo said in a statement that the two Maltese terrier dogs were in much better condition than the siblings.

Related: Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a news release from the City of Perris said.

The parents made their first court appearance Thursday and entered not guilty pleas to all charges. Their bail is set at $13 million. They are scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 23.

Florida woman, 81, smashes car into McDonald's: 'Glass flew everywhere'

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:54 AM

Woman Smashes Car Into McDonald's Window

An 81-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after she lost control of her Toyota Solara and backed into the glass windows of a McDonald’s west of Boynton Beach, Florida, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

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The woman will be charged with careless driving, PBSO spokesperson Teri Barbera said Monday.

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The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. at Military Trail and Boynton Beach Boulevard when the woman backed up and inadvertently drove through the window.

“Glass flew everywhere,” said a witness, who said she was drinking a soda inside when the car plowed through the window.

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The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the glass cut her fingers. She said the driver then drove forward and hit her parked Volkswagen. The driver continued about 150 feet and hit a tree next to a canal, Barbera said.

A McDonald’s representative declined to comment. The store and drive-through remain open.