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Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:24 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:23 PM
AKRON, Ohio — A judge must decide how to deal with a man diagnosed with autism who has repeatedly violated his probation for sexual battery by asking women to touch their bellybuttons.
Graig Burrier, 29, of Stow, pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating probation after approaching a female jogger and asking to see her bellybutton twice in July.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Rowlands must decide whether to send Burrier back to state prison or to an inpatient treatment program for sex offenders in Minnesota.
Burrier's attorney, Joe Gorman, says his client is autistic and should be given treatment, not prison. Prosecutors argued that Burrier is not autistic and want him to finish the remaining two years of a suspended prison sentence.
"This was not an impulsive behavior; it was deliberate," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement on Thursday. "This is not the type of behavior someone with autism typically exhibits."
Autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term for a group of developmental disorders that can affect a person's ability to communicate. Repetitive and inappropriate touching could be a sign of the disorder, but it is difficult to say, said Angela Scarpa, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech, who was not addressing Burrier's case specifically.
Burrier was charged with rape in 2011 after he told a pregnant 19-year-old that he needed to touch her bellybutton for a fraternity ritual. Authorities said he pushed her against a wall and digitally penetrated her.
As part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to five years' probation and a four-year suspended sentence, and was released from prison in 2016.
Burrier previously had been diagnosed with autism. But when Rowlands ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, psychologists said he did not "display symptoms" of the disorder, according to the evaluation obtained by The Akron Beacon Journal.
The evaluation listed five incidents between 2007 and 2010 when asked to see women's bellybuttons. In one instance, he paid an 18-year-old woman $3 to kiss her navel.
Court records show that Burrier had been charged with three previous probation violations. Less than four months after being convicted in 2012, his probation officer said Burrier was suicidal and had made no progress in treatment. He was sent to prison in August 2015 for another probation violation and was released in July 2016.
Prosecutors say Burrier already had a chance at treatment and sending him to prison would protect women from harassment. Gorman argued the treatment wasn't enough and that inpatient care is a better long-term solution.
"I can't imagine housing him in our state prison facility for two years is going to stop the problem," Gorman said. "They've already tried that."
Matthew Lerner, a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University in New York, said autistic people often run into challenges because of their difficulties with different social contexts.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 4:45 PM
— A quiet night is expected with temperatures overnight dropping into the lower 30s, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said.
Monday: Clouds will increase through the day with highs in the lower to middle 50s. The chance for rain returns in the evening, and with temperatures falling past sunset, a few wet flakes may mix in as well.
Tuesday: A few lingering snow showers or a wintry mix will be possible early, then more snow is possible later in the day. Mostly cloudy skies are expected with highs in the lower to middle 40s.
Wednesday: It’ll be a cold day with highs in the upper 30s. The chance for snow continues, but some weather models keep the snow to the south. We will keep a close eye on the track of this system.
Thursday: Partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower 40s.
Friday: A dry start is expected, but the chance for rain returns at night. Highs will be in the middle 40s.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:54 PM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
MIAMISBURG — UPDATE @ 4:25 p.m.
Crews left the scene of a brush fire that spread to 5 acres in an area off the 5000 block of Medlar Road.
The fire, reported around 3:20 p.m., was extinguished quickly by responding crews.
Crews are on scene of brush fire this afternoon involving a reported 5 acres.
The fire was reported around 3:20 p.m. in the 5000 block of Medlar Road, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.
We have a crew on the way and will update this report.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:39 PM
— University of Dayton students who ignored orders and acted out against police during St. Patrick’s Day activities Saturday were called out in a letter sent this morning from UD President Eric F. Spina to the student body.
“Today I am deeply disappointed in the behavior of many of you. I witnessed groups of students assault police officers, shoot fireworks into crowds, and put themselves and their friends in danger,” Spina wrote.
Police responded to the report of a large crowd that had gathered on Lowes Street. Bottles, rocks and firecrackers were reportedly thrown at officers, which forced them to retreat. Additional officers from UD and Dayton police departments were called. By 6:30 p.m., police dressed in riot gear cleared the streets and ordered students to go inside their homes.
“The large gatherings that block streets, the disregard for the safety of others, and the disrespect for the police who were there to keep people safe in no way constitutes community,” Spina’s letter reads. “This police response was appropriate and necessary because this behavior presented significant danger to the safety of students and police.
One person was hurt by a thrown object during the police action on Saturday, according to the university.
Dayton officers dressed in riot gear and holding shields were also struck by thrown objects, but no injuries were reported, according to UD spokeswoman Cilla Shindell.
Shindell said there were a few other minor injuries, “a few misdemeanor arrests and student disciplinary referrals” reported during the day, but full reports were not immediately available.
Some minor damage to university property — lawns and landscaping — was reported and a few private vehicles were reportedly damaged during the day, Shindell said.
“No one has been arrested as yet for activities related to dispersing the crowd,” she said.
Shindell said in terms of how police respond to large disturbances such as what happened on Lowes Street, each situation is assessed for the best response.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:43 PM
— This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration landed on a Saturday, but for many the revelry, and police incident reports, started on Friday.
The most significant incident reported from Saturday started around 4 p.m. on Lowes Street.
Police responded to the report of a large crowd that had gathered in the street in the University of Dayton student neighborhood. Bottles, rocks and firecrackers were reportedly thrown at officers, which forced them to retreat.
Additional officers from UD and Dayton police departments were called. By 6:30 p.m., police dressed in riot gear cleared the streets and ordered students to go inside their homes.
The university reported that no one was arrested during the police action.
The party started, and for some, ended early Saturday morning.
--- At 2:37 a.m., Dayton officers responded to a home on Illinois Avenue because of a stabbing complaint, according to the police incident report. A person had been stabbed with a knife and an investigation by officers determined the stabbing occurred about 30 minutes earlier at Carmichael’s Pub, 3011 Wayne Ave., according to the report. No further details were immediately available, including the severity of the injuries and whether any suspects have been identified or arrested.
--- A woman, Alecia Swain, 38, was arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance at 3:30 a.m. at a home in the 300 block of Kenilworth Avenue, according to a Dayton police report.
--- Police said a man called 9-1-1 to report his neighbor, identified as the suspect, was intoxicated and causing a disturbance at his home. The caller told the dispatcher he was going to shoot the woman if police didn’t get there soon. Police responded and arrested Swain on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct, according to the report.
A domestic violence incident was reported at 1 a.m. at The Fieldhouse, 1126 Brown St.
A 33-year-old male from Dayton was listed as the complainant. No arrest was reported and no further information was released.
--- Jamaad Gardner, 28, was arrested around 11:35 p.m. Friday near Newcom’s Tavern, 418 E. Fifth St., according to a Dayton police report.
Police said Gardner was kicked out of the bar for causing a disturbance and once outside, he allegedly struck one of the bar’s security guards in the face, breaking his ear piece.
Gardner allegedly resisted officers during his arrest, according to the report. He remained an inmate at the Montgomery County Jail Sunday.
--- At 8:30 p.m. Friday, an assault was reported at Blind Bob’s Café, 430 E. Fifth St., according to the police report.
Workers there told officers the victim, a 40-year-old man, was standing outside when he was “sucker punched” by another male who then ran away, according to the police report. Police said the victim was lying on the ground and bleeding when officers arrived. The victim was highly intoxicated and apparently did not realize he’d been struck, according to the report.
--- A 29-year-old man from Illinois reported that someone stole his Samsung 8 Plus from his back pocket while he was inside Ned Peppers, 419 E. Fifth St., according to a Dayton police report.
The incident happened around 1:13 a.m. Friday, but the victim didn’t realize he was missing his phone until he called police at 8:22 a.m., according to the report.
The victim told police he was able to track his phone from the bar on East Fifth to the Dayton Towers apartments, according to the report.
Police said no search was conducted because there are multiple apartment units, according to the report.
--- At 6:04 a.m. Friday, police responded to a rollover crash at Home Avenue and College Street.
A black 2018 Cadillac XTS had struck a black 2011 Ford Fusion that was parked, according to the Dayton police report.
The driver of the Cadillac, identified as 38-year-old Devon Lamar Hayes, had apparently crawled out of the broken passenger’s side window and was lying on the ground next to the overturned vehicle, according to the report.
Police said the driver smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, glassy eyes; and officers found a three-quarter-full bottle of Courvoisier was found inside the vehicle.