Monroe outlet mall shooting investigation under way

Published: Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 2:47 PM
Updated: Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 6:15 PM

A Monroe police officer who shot a shoplifting suspect in the leg Saturday at Cincinnati Premium Outlets has been placed on administrative leave, while the suspect remains in a Warren County jail cell on a $75,000 bond.

Monroe Police Chief Greg Homer spoke for the first time about the incident during a news conference Monday, but had few answers to the onslaught of questions about how the moments leading up to the shooting unfolded. Homer said he wouldn’t second guess the actions of Officer Chad Caudill, a five-year veteran of the department and 2012 Officer of the Year.

He described the officer as “shook up” by the incident and confirmed he would be on administrative leave until the investigation into the officer-involved shooting wraps up. Monroe administrative staff will interview Caudill — with his union attorney present — Wednesday as part of the department’s internal investigation, Homer said.

When asked if he thought Caudill acted appropriately during Saturday’s incident, Homer replied: “That’s a very good question, and we’ll come up with a very good answer.”

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Jamarcus Levon Brown, of Trotwood, was arraigned by video Monday in Lebanon Municipal Court, where his bond was set at $75,000. Brown, who is charged with felony fleeing and alluding and assault on a police officer, was deemed a flight risk by Magistrate Marty Hubbell since he’s run from police before.

Brown appeared on a giant video screen in the courtroom seated in a wheelchair and wearing a bright orange jail jumpsuit. He told the magistrate he could not raise the bond amount and apologized for his actions.

“I’m really sorry for all that went on,” Brown said. “I’ve got two jobs out there, judge. I’ve got two kids. I pay child support every month. I’m just missing out on a lot for real.”

Last week, Brown led Huber Heights police on a 100-mph chase on Interstate 70. Brown crashed the car he was driving near the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road exit on I-675 and then ran into the woods before police could capture him.

City Prosecutor Matt Graber mentioned the high-speed chase and added that Brown allegedly gave a fictitious name when he was arrested on Saturday when the magistrate asked his opinion on bond. Hubbell set a preliminary hearing for Brown on Aug. 12.

Brown’s latest attempt to elude police started Saturday as two police officers were investigating a group of suspects, including Brown, for theft at the Sunglass Hut store at Cincinnati Premium Outlets, Homer said. Around the time the mall closed at 9 p.m., and as Caudill was examining video surveillance at the sunglasses store, Brown ran away.

Caudill chased after him into the mall’s parking lot, when Brown jumped into a parked vehicle and started to drive away. Police believe Brown knew the person’s car he borrowed for the attempted getaway.

Somehow Caudill ended up on the hood of that car and as Brown continued to accelerate, the police officer fired two shots through the vehicle windshield, one of which struck Brown in the leg and sent the suspect to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.

The gunshots caused panic for one man and his family, who called Warren County 911 and reported two shots were fired near the Nike entrance at the mall. He told the dispatcher that a car was pulled over and someone was laying on the ground.

“I got a kid in the car so I can’t stay there,” he said. “Two gun shots were fired, people started screaming and running. I got in the car and left.”

Homer said he didn’t “have an answer” to how many innocent shoppers might have been present during Saturday’s incident, or if any of those bystanders were at risk of being injured.

The last time a Monroe police officer was involved in a shooting was in 1995, according to the department’s records.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is working on the scene investigation, which includes investigating the car Brown drove, Homer said. The Monroe Police Department is handling the internal and suspect investigation, the chief said.

OSP investigates fatal 2-vehicle crash near Ohio Masonic Home

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 10:10 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 10:15 PM

Troopers are investigating a fatal crash tonight involving two vehicles at the intersection of U.S. 40 and 68 by the Ohio Masonic Home near Springfield.

A Toyota four-door sedan was headed south on U.S. 68 when it ran a red light. A black pickup truck coming into Springfield on U.S. 40 T-boned the car; the impact forced the car into a railing, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The driver of the car was killed in the crash.

Three children in the pickup were taken to a local hospital with injuries believed to be minor, according to troopers.

No further information was available on the identity of the driver killed, who was the only occupant of the Toyota, nor the conditions of those in the other vehicle.

Ohio college student is best grocery bagger in country

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 9:49 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 9:49 PM

            Ohio college student is best grocery bagger in country

Ohio’s top grocery bagger for two consecutive years finally took home the gold.

Brady Long, 23, won first prize and $10,000 at the National Grocers Association’s Best Bagger championship last Monday at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

“It was very exciting,” Long told the Medina Gazette. “This year, I was a lot more confident.”

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Contestants are judged on speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution and style.

Long, an accounting student at the University of Akron, beat 23 other baggers from across the country. The national competition started in 1987.

“Baggers and courtesy clerks are often the last impression a customer has of a store, and because of this, superior bagging skills, along with friendly customer service, are critical elements to a positive shopping experience for the consumer,” Peter J. Larkin, grocery association president, said in a release. “The Best Bagger competition truly epitomizes the spirit and work ethic of the supermarket industry.”

'Not My Presidents Day' rallies planned across country

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 8:43 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 8:43 PM

            'Not My Presidents Day' rallies planned across country

Thousands of protesters are expected to spend their day off Monday to take to the streets in protest of President Donald Trump.

The “Not My Presidents Day” rallies are planned in several cities, including Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, according to NBC News.

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“While we acknowledge that Donald Trump holds the current title, the policies he’s trying to put in place are not the beliefs shared by the majority of the people,” Nova Calise, one of the organizers of New York event, told USA Today.

Sparked by plans for a Presidents Day demonstration in Los Angeles, organizers collaborated for about three weeks to plan their own.

"We want to fight the entirety of the administration," Laura Hartman, Chicago rally coordinator, told NBC News.

Vandalia council rejects fairgrounds proposal a 2nd time

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 3:23 PM

Vandalia council rejects fairgrounds proposal a 2nd time

City Council in Vandalia has voted yet again to reject a proposal to relocate the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to Webster Street, the city’s Vice Mayor David Lewis has confirmed.

Council members met for a work session Saturday and the relocation of the fairgrounds was at the top of a short agenda.

“It was a general consensus of the council that while the fair board made a very strong and cogent presentation before, our general thoughts were it wasn’t so much about the Montgomery County Fair as it was about having a convention center,” Lewis said. “That’s what they were proposing, based on 52 weeks a year, as opposed to just one week for the use of the fair. “ 

The fair board has not submitted a formal request for zoning change, but looked to council for input on the potential fairgrounds site. The city first rejected the proposal in December, but agreed to hear a second presentation from the Montgomery County Agricultural Society, which happened Thursday.

Greg Wallace, executive director of the society, said he had no response because he had not received notice from Vandalia. When asked if based on the reaction to their presentation to Vandalia leaders on Thursday he would have expected them to shoot down the project again, he said: “No. All I know is they were going to continue to discuss it at their retreat.”

Lewis said council members would give “different consideration” if the fair board presented a scaled-back plan that didn’t include what Lewis described as a “convention center.”

Vandalia council to reconsider fairgrounds relocation

Council members voted unanimously to reject the proposal, citing in-part the continuous changes being made to the project.