Police defend use of stop-sticks in fatal crash

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 6:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

Maj. Rodney Muterspaw of the Middletown Division of Police knows people will question why stop-sticks were used in a deadly crash that claimed the life of a 28-year-old Tuesday morning.

But the move to place the tire-deflating devices at the corner of Grand Avenue and Highland Street was “a good decision,” Muterspaw said Tuesday.

Clearcreek Twp. Police Chief John Terrill said he wasn’t going to debate the “national issue,” but added if the driver had pulled over as he was directed, he’d probably be alive today.

“He made a dumb decision,” Terrill said. “That’s unfortunate, but that’s what happened.”

The high-speed pursuit began around midnight when Sgt. Curtis Hensley of the Clearcreek Twp. police department clocked a black, 1994 Honda Civic traveling 84 mph in a 40 mph zone in the 2000 block of Ohio 122, Terrill said.

The driver, McGovern S. Flener, 28, of Monroe, formerly of Hamilton, who had a lengthy driving and criminal record, was ejected after his vehicle wrecked about 10 minutes later in Middletown. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his passenger, Melissa Griffin, 20, of Warren County, was listed in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Muterspaw said the decision to use the stop-sticks was made by Lt. Jim Cunningham, the shift supervisor. Muterspaw said it’s the department’s policy to use the sticks as a way to stop vehicles and to “protect our citizens.”

After the officers put out the sticks, they hid behind their cruiser and a utility police, Muterspaw said.

After having at least one of his tires flattened, Flener drove about ¼-mile before he crashed into the median and utility pole at the corner of Grand and Stanley Street. Flener and Griffin were ejected and neither was wearing a seat belt, Terrill said.

Flener was weaving and driving reckless, causing Sgt. Hensley to suspect he was impaired, Terrill said.

Terrill said as Flener drove on Ohio 122 near Hunter, someone in the car threw items out of the car. Terrill said police officials searched the road overnight and Tuesday morning, but were unable to find any evidence. He said Flener refused to pull over after Hensley turned on his lights and sirens. He said the pursuit continued on 122 to Grand Avenue and the crash site.

Beer cans were found at the crash site and a receipt showed that beer was purchased earlier in the evening in Middletown, Terrill said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, Muterspaw said.

Flener was driving with a valid license and did not have any warrants, Terrill said.

Terrill said Flener has a lengthy felony criminal record with convictions for permitting drug abuse, possession of drugs, possession of heroin, possession of cocaine and theft.

Here’s why you are seeing a red X on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 6:16 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 6:20 AM


            Here’s why you are seeing a red X on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts

You are likely to see a lot of red Xs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Thursday as politicians, celebrities and others support the “Shine a Light on Slavery Day."

The Xs are part of a campaign by a coalition of 16 non-profit groups that is working to raise awareness of the problem around the world. The End It Movement has adopted the red X as a sign of support for efforts to stop modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Last week, the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee held an End Modern Slavery hearing. Actor Aston Kutcher was among those who testified to the horrors of human trafficking and slavery that still exists in many countries. 

If you want to take part in the movement, go to the website for the End It awareness campaign. There, you can find downloadable resources, including red Xs.

Or, some are taking red lipstick, making an X on their hand, and posting a photo of it to show their support.

Look for the hastags #EndSlaveryAct and #EndItMovement.

Protests after off-duty LA officer fires shot in clash with teen

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 8:35 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 6:13 AM

Dozens of people, including children, were arrested early Thursday after clashing with Southern California police outside a home where a Los Angeles policeman fired a single round during an off-duty tussle with a 13-year-old boy.

Hundreds of people had gathered hours earlier after videos surfaced showing the incident between the officer, whose identity has not been released, and a group of youths.

The incident occurred Tuesday over ongoing issues with children walking across the officer's property in Anaheim, a police spokesman told The Orange County Register.

The 13-year-old believed the officer had cursed a teenage girl who had walked on his lawn on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The little kid said, 'I'm going to sue you,' and then the guy thought he said, 'I'm going to shoot you.' That's when he started grabbing the little kid," Gregory Perez, 16, told The Orange County Register.

One video posted on YouTube shows the officer struggling with the boy, who repeatedly denies he threatened to shoot and at one point says "Let me go. ... I'm only 13."

A taller youth steps in and tries to break the officer's grip. Another youth rushes the officer, who stumbles back through a small hedge, still holding the 13-year-old.

The taller boy then takes a swing at the officer. Other teens approach and the officer — still gripping the 13-year-old with one hand — pulls a gun from his waistband, crouches, and a shot is fired.

Witnesses said the officer "did not discharge the gun toward anyone," Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt told KNX-AM radio.

After police arrive, the off-duty officer puts his hands up and is walked away to be interviewed while the teenager eventually is handcuffed.

The 13-year-old boy was booked at Orange County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of making criminal threat and battery, while a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery and later released, Anaheim police said. Their names were not released because they are minors.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement Wednesday that the video was deeply disturbing, and said investigators need to explain why the boys were arrested, but not the officer who fired the shot.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said in a statement Wednesday that he was concerned with what he saw in the video, and the city is committed to a full and impartial investigation.

Anaheim and Los Angeles police were investigating the incident and the officer was cooperating, Wyatt said.

The Anaheim Police Department said it was aware of "numerous videos" posted on YouTube. The department said its Homicide Detail is investigating and when the case is completed, it will be submitted to the Orange County district attorney's office.

That office will decide whether any criminal charges should be filed.

The LAPD's Force Investigation Division is also looking into the altercation and the officer has been placed on administrative leave, the LAPD told the Register.

The calm gathering of protesters was disrupted Wednesday night as some began vandalizing the officer's and neighboring homes and throwing objects at Anaheim police officers observing the demonstration across the street, the Register reported.

Protesters then took to Euclid Street, blocking traffic before confronting Anaheim police officers in riot gear who had established a skirmish line.

Police created a second skirmish line around the officer's home.

Early Thursday, police said in a statement that 24 people were arrested: 10 men, eight women, three boys and three girls. All are misdemeanor charges for variations of failure to disperse, resisting arrest, and battery on a peace officer.

___

Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Report: Man shot attempting to break into Dayton home

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 4:57 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 7:40 AM

UPDATE @ 7:34 a.m.

The man who was shot while allegedly trying to break inside a Baltimore Street home is known to police. 

“He’s got a pretty lengthy criminal history,” said Sgt. Matt Beavers of the Dayton Police Department.

Police were dispatched to the home around 4:40 a.m. 

“When crews arrived on the scene, the individual that was shot was found on the porch laying there unconscious,” Beavers said. 

Medics transported the suspect to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment. 

“Right now his condition is unknown,” Beavers said.

UPDATE @ 6:25 a.m

The owner of a Baltimore Street home where a morning shooting occurred said her cousin shot a man who attempted to climb through a window. 

The homeowner told our crew her cousin, who lives in the house, fired one shot at the intruder when he attempted to climb through a window and grab her. 

The cousin’s husband and several young children were home when the shooting occurred. 

The condition of the man was not available and police have not provided an update on the status of the investigation. 

FIRST REPORT

Dayton police and medics have been dispatched on a reported shooting on Baltimore Street early Thursday morning. 

According to police scanner traffic, a man was reportedly shot attempting to break into a house in the 200 block of Baltimore Street around 4:40 a.m. 

The condition of the man shot was not immediately known. 

We have a crew heading to the scene and we’ll update this page when new information becomes available. 

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Winning ticket for $435M Powerball jackpot sold in Indiana

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 4:27 AM

UPDATE @ 8:59 a.m. (Feb. 23):

Hoosier Lottery officials said the winning Powerball ticket in Indiana was sold in Lafayette, a city that sits along I-65 between Indianapolis and Gary.

INITIAL REPORT:

Did you buy your Powerball ticket in Indiana? If so, check those numbers: You might have won the $435 million jackpot.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: What is the Powerball jackpot; where can you play?

The numbers drawn Wednesday night were 10, 13, 28, 52 and 61, with 2 as the Powerball. 

Powerball's website early Thursday said the winning ticket was sold in Indiana. One ticket sold in New Jersey matched five numbers with Power Play to win $2 million, while tickets sold in Kansas, Massachusetts, New York and Texas matched five numbers to win $1 million.

>> Read more trending news

The jackpot for Saturday's drawing is $40 million.