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Kylen English: Feds not pursuing charges

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016 @ 11:13 PM
Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 7:43 PM
By: Doug Page -

The U.S. Justice Department will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Dayton police or the sheriff’s office concerning the death of Kylen English, federal officials announced late Friday afternoon.

There is insufficient evidence to pursue the charges in English’s death July 16, 2011, according to the justice department release.

English, 20, died after he escaped from a police cruiser while handcuffed, then jumped off the Salem Avenue bridge.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation has cleared the Dayton Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office of misconduct in the July 16, 2011, death of Kylen English after he escaped a police cruiser by breaking out a window and jumped off the Salem Avenue bridge, falling 30 feet to rocks below on the flood plain of the Great Miami River.

“There is a lack of evidence to contradict the medical examiner’s finding that English committed suicide or to support allegations of misconduct by law enforcement that surfaced following Mr. English’s death,” the department wrote in an announcement released late Friday afternoon.

“There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges,” the announcement said.

Derrick Foward, president of Dayton unit of the NAACP, said the civil rights organization, which called for an independent federal investigation by the FBI, supported the decision. “When we called for the investigation, we also said we would support their decision. We feel saddened for his (English) family.”

Rachel Shaw, English’s mother said Friday she would not comment, referring a reporter to the family’s attorney who has filed a lawsuit against the city and a local hospital.

The attorney, James Greene III, said he was dismayed with the Justice Department’s conclusion. “There is an abysmal failure to do a sufficient examination,” he said, saying a medical expert hired by the family to review the coroner’s findings found no evidence that indicated English used his head or arms to break out the cruiser’s window.

“I’m pleased the Justice Department found our policies and procedures were never violated, not Mr. English’s civil rights,” Sheriff Phil Plummer said Friday evening.

“We thought an independent, outside investigation was important,” City Manager Tim Riordan said. “Our goal now is to move forward … to strengthen community-police relations and to create an environment that promotes safety, fairness and respect for all.”

A police officer was transporting English, 20, from Grandview Hospital to the Montgomery County Jail following an evaluation. As the cruiser turned onto the Salem Avenue bridge, police said the 6-foot, 210-pound English, seated unbelted in the back of the cruiser with his hands handcuffed behind his back, broke out the passenger-side window with his head, rolled out the window as the cruiser stopped and leaped over the bridge railing.

Seconds before breaking out the window, English is heard on the police cruiser’s audio-tape asking the officer, “Do you believe you go to heaven if you kill yourself?” and then “I want to die.”

The federal investigation is the third to conclude the death a suicide. A police investigation and a Montgomery County Coroner’s investigation came to the same conclusion. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, finding no fault with the deputies’ actions while English was at the jail.

English had been arrested earlier in the day after he allegedly attempted to kick down the door of a relative of his girlfriend, who was in a back bedroom. Security video from the apartment hallway shows an enraged English kicking the door and screaming. After his arrest several blocks from the scene, English was taken to the jail.

Grainy, stop-action security video from the jail , showed English and the officer walking to the jail intake. While the officer was filling out the booking slip, English stood facing the cinderblock wall. The next frame, 3 seconds later, showed English slumped on the floor.

Police said English had slammed his head into the wall. With the help of deputies, the officer rushed English into a “shake down” room where he was checked by jail medical staff. The staff refused to accept English because his pupils were not responding properly to light, indicating a possible head injury. The officer then placed English back in his cruiser and took him to Grandview where he was evaluated and medically cleared.

During his trip from the hospital, the officer turned on his in-car audio and the forward-facing video system, telling English he was being recorded. After English’s last statement that he wanted to die, the audio picked up several bangs — English apparently using his head to hit the right-rear passenger window. As the office pulled over to the side of the bridge and stopped the cruiser, the video showed shards of safety glass falling on the cruiser’s hood. The officer is heard shouting as he sees English launch himself out the window and over the bridge railing.

Some members of the family initially told police and the Dayton Daily News that English suffered from depression and “self-harming behavior.” Family members later denied making the statements.

Other family members alleged police had Tased and beaten English. Neither the videotapes, audiotapes, the police investigation, the sheriff’s investigation, the coroner’s autopsy nor the Justice Department investigation found any evidence to support those allegations.

Greene, the family’s attorney, said their medical expert concluded English died from the fall from the bridge.

In their lawsuit, the family alleges both the hospital and the police were negligent. Greene said Friday police had a duty to keep English safe while in their custody, a duty they failed.

Springfield stabbing suspect pleads not guilty

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 4:50 PM
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 @ 11:28 AM
By: Staff Report

A man accused of stabbing another man to death with a serving fork Tuesday morning plead not guilty to murder in a court appearance today.

Laune P. Dozier, Jr. also plead not guilty to an unrelated charge of aggravated robbery. His bond was set at $1 million.

Dozier was taken into custody by Springfield Special Operations Team officers Tuesday afternoon after a two-and-a-half hour standoff.

After firing several smoke devices into the building at 730 East St. and ordering a man to come outside, SOT officers escorted Dozier to a police van just after 2:30 p.m.

He was wanted in the fatal stabbing of Jason Wones early Tuesday morning at 338 Lincoln Park Circle. A warrant was issued for Dozier on a charge of murder Tuesday morning, according to Clark County Municipal Court records.

According to the warrant affidavit, Dozier, 19, was among a group of people drinking at the Lincoln Park address overnight. Witnesses reported that he began assaulting a female just before 7 a.m. and Wones attempted to intervene.

Dozier allegedly grabbed a two-prong serving fork from the kitchen and began stabbing Wones, who attempted to defend himself. At some point he was stabbed in the left side of his chest, according to the affidavit.

Dozier allegedly fled on foot before the witnesses called 911. Medics transported Wones to Springfield Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

SOT officers had been staged at the corner of East and Essex streets since about noon Tuesday. It is unclear what Dozier’s connection to that address is. His listed address on court documents is nearby on East Liberty Street.

East Street was shut down between Selma and Summer streets during the standoff.

Britanie Jackson lives on the other side of the duplex on East Street. She told News Center 7 she is not aware of any criminal activity going on there and that the building is “normally pretty peaceful.”

She said she was surprised earlier today when she attempted to walk home and found police had the street blocked and would not allow her to go to her house.

Man on scooter injured in Troy crash

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 4:49 PM
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 @ 11:53 AM
By: - Northern Bureau Chief

Police in Troy said a driver is expected to be cited in a crash that injured a man riding a motor scooter.

The crash happened on South Short and Race streets in Troy Tuesday morning, according to reports.  Robert Dunfee, 70, of Troy, lost control of his scooter while attempting to avoid a collision with a car making a left hand turn in front of  him.

Dunfee has only had the scooter since July 12. He was taken to Upper Valley Medical Center near Troy for treatment of road rash.

The driver of the car is expected to be cited for being left of center, police said.

Driver arrested; 2 hurt in motorcycle crash

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 4:05 PM
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 @ 6:52 AM

Troopers arrested a man after he was reportedly driving drunk and caused a serious motorcycle crash on Dayton Oxford Road late Tuesday night.

Donnie Miller, 42, of Franklin was taken into custody following the crash, which occurred around 9:10 p.m. Troopers said Miller was driving west on Dayton Oxford Road near the area of Heritage Road, when he crossed the center lines and collided with a motorcycle travelling east on Dayton Oxford. Both occupants of the motorcycle were ejected from the vehicle.

The motorcycle driver, Walter Woodward Jr., 44, of Middletown, was transported to Atrium Medical Center by ambulance, according to Troopers. His passenger, Amy Woodward, 38, of Middletown, was transported aboard CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton with serious injuries. Miller was not injured in the crash.

Following the collision, Miller’s vehicle continued travelling off the road and hit a tree, troopers said.

Miller is being held in the Middletown City Jail on suspicion of two counts of aggravated vehicular assualt, operating a vehicle impaired, and a lanes of travel violation. He is scheduled in court July 20 at noon.

The crash remains under investigation by the Lebanon post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Severe thunderstorm watch is canceled

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 4:05 PM
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 @ 7:42 PM

A severe thunderstorm watch issued for the entire area has been canceled, the National Weather Service said Wednesday evening.

While the threat of severe weather for today is over, some scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected tonight, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said.

One concern with the storms is flash flooding because the storms have little movement and with the dry ground, the water won’t sink into the ground quickly.

A few reports of trees down and power lines down in the Miami Valley, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Rich Wirdzek.

At 7:33 p.m., Dayton Power & Light reported power outages of about 607 customers in the Miami Valley (517 in Greene) and Ohio Edison reported all power in Clark County restored.

Some areas have received 1 to 2 inches of rain, dropping temperatures in those areas by about 20 degrees to the low 70s.

Scattered thunderstorms may also occur Thursday. It will be less humid this weekend, but the heat will continue with temperatures reaching the high 80s.