breaking news


Dog mauling victim feared for her life

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 1:15 PM
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 9:35 PM


            Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 25, both of Dayton.
Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 25, both of Dayton.

Klonda Richey, killed in a dog mauling Friday morning, regularly filed complaints about her next-door neighbors and their dogs and made numerous statements that she feared for her life.

"If you want to hurt me, shoot or stab me. Leave cats in peace," Richey apparently wrote in an undated letter to her neighbors Julie Custer, 25, and Andrew Nason, 28, 35 E. Bruce Ave. The letter was included in hundreds of pages of court documents, a civil complaint order and other complaints and dispatch logs from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The paper trail obtained by News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News documents a consistent effort by Richey, 57, to call attention to what she considered threats to her safety. The dogs were never removed from the home as a result of her many complaints.

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She was naked when her body was found in the snow Feb. 7 outside her home, 31 E. Bruce Ave., by a passer-by. When police arrived, two mixed-Mastiff breeds charged at them, prompting the officers to shoot and kill them.

Custer and Nason, owners of the dogs responsible for the mauling, were arrested Friday. They were released from jail Sunday evening.

"Due to the complex nature of the laws concerning animals, we just felt that at this point it would be better off to get our ducks in a row before we proceeded any further," Dayton Sgt. Richard Blommel said, explaining why Custer and Nason were released. "We're still investigating and we'll meet again with the prosecutors when they feel that we have enough to move forward for an indictment."

Meantime, detectives are trying to determine what led the dogs — identified by the county coroner's office as Cane Corsos, a breed in the Mastiff family — to fatally maul Richey.

News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News have learned that Richey filed complaints with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and sought a civil stalking protection order denied by a magistrate in February 2013. Richey appealed, but was denied by Judge Michael Krumholtz in April 2013.

Custer and Nason, in the protection order, stated that Richey had been harassing them.

"At one point she also stated to Andrew Nason 'the world would be better off [if] you died,' Custer wrote in a letter to the court as part of the protection order documents.

Richey, who worked for Montgomery County's Job & Family Services, regularly called the regional dispatch center in the past two years with concerns about Custer and Nason and numerous complaints about the dogs running loose in the neighborhood. Many of the complaints, dating as far back as 2012, were called in by an anonymous female who said the dogs were loose and charged at her. Other complaints involved the dogs barking or not having adequate food.

In one report from March 16, 2013, a woman called the ARC to report that the mailman would not longer deliver mail to the street until a loose dog was taken care of.

"The dog has come after (the complainant) before and she states that now (the owner) will let his dog loose to go after her and her cats," the report states. The ARC employee who handled that report noted that ARC officials left a warning on the door of 35 E. Bruce after knocking and receiving no answer. They could hear a dog barking inside.

Friends of Richey described her as an animal lover and dedicated volunteer in Montgomery County's Republican Party.

Monday night, Ted Richey, of Indianapolis, said he tried for years to persuade his sister to move out of the neighborhood. He said his sister kept a large number of cats in her home, which brought her attention.

"She had a cat door, if they were outdoor cats they could come and go… Some neighbors, especially when houses are close together like that, don't appreciate that," Ted Richey said. "She had some run-ins with neighbors, but I certainly didn't expect anything like this to come of it.

"She considered it as much of the cat's house as it was hers. That was their home and there wasn't any reason she should leave just because some of the neighbors didn't like her cats. She could be stubborn in those kind of things," he said.

The autopsy on Klonda Richey was performed Saturday by the coroner's office, which said Monday that she died of blood loss.

"The injuries were severe and multiple," Coroner Kent Harshbarger said. "This is one of the worst that we've ever seen."

The crime lab is working to match dental impressions left on the body with the teeth of the two dogs. Their carcasses have been preserved as evidence.

"We want to be able to say without a doubt, these two animals were involved, and that both animals were involved and not just one," Harshbarger said.

The licensed dogs belonged to Custer, who lived at the single-family home at 35 E. Bruce Ave. with Nason, according to police.

Said Blommel of Nason: "He is just as responsible for them as she is."

Owners have the responsibility to make sure their dogs are confined and that they abide by licensing and restraining laws, said Blommel, who noted the fencing at 35 E. Bruce was not secure.

Tom Hagel, a professor with the University of Dayton School of Law, said fatal dog bite cases are rare and the prosecution is likely taking extra time to make sure they have the correct charges before proceeding. "The problem is, in cases that are based on reckless behavior, you as a prosecutor have to be able to prove that the defendants knew or had very good reason to know, in this case, that their dogs were a threat to the community and didn't take appropriate actions," he said.

Blommel said the nature of a call about an animal will determine who responds to the complaint.

"If it's an aggressive dog that's chasing people, the police will be sent," Blommel said. "But if it's just dogs barking, dogs running up and down the street, it can go either way. Some people call the Animal Resource Center, some call dispatch. Some they send to them (the center) and some they send to us (police)."

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Family confronts Dayton police during man’s arrest, prompts ‘Signal 99’ call for assistance

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 6:42 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 2:07 AM

Signal 99 issued in Dayton, indicating officer needs assistance

UPDATE @ 9:35 p.m.

A 23-year-old Dayton man is jailed on felony drug and weapons charges.

Jason M. Herron is in the Montgomery County Jail following his arrest at 7:30 p.m. in the 200 block of West Parkwood Drive. He was booked on suspicion of carrying concealed weapons, having weapons under disability and drug possession, all felonies, in addition to a misdemeanor drug possession charge, online jail records show.

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Jason M. Herron(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Dayton Municipal Court.

UPDATE @ 7:25 p.m.

Family members confronting police officers after they took an armed man to the ground during an arrest prompted a “Signal 99” call for officers in need of urgent assistance.

The incident began when officers tried make a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled, Dayton police Sgt. Ryan Halburnt said.

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Shortly afterward, they found the vehicle but its passenger, a man in his 20s, had bailed on foot, the sergeant said.

“(Police) started canvassing the neighborhood looking for the suspect that had run from the traffic stop and found the gentleman walking down the 200 block of West Parkwood Avenue. Officers made contact with him and he began to actively resist the police, which forced them to go to the ground,” he said.

Officers found a loaded firearm in the suspect’s waistband and a large amount of drugs in his pocket, Halburnt said.

“As the officers were arresting him the family members, which were a few houses away, saw what was happening and came out to confront the officer, which elicited the ‘Signal 99’ officer needs assistance,” Halburnt said.

It is not clear whether the driver was arrested.

UPDATE @ 6:45 p.m.

A fleeing suspect led police to issue a “Signal 99” for an officer in need of urgent assistance.

Backup arrived quickly, but it was not clear what led a suspect to flee.

 It is unclear if the suspect is in custody.

FIRST REPORT

Police issued a “Signal 99” this evening for officers in need of assistance.

The call for urgent help came shortly before 6:30 p.m. to the 200 block of West Parkwood Drive in Dayton.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report as we learn information.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Body cam video: Englewood officer comforts child left behind after pursuit

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:45 PM

Officer comforts child left behind during pursuit

An Englewood police officer stopped chasing two suspects to comfort a young boy in the middle of a police chase.

Police said the boy’s grandmother and aunt left him behind July 10 as they tried to escape.

Chases are dangerous for everyone involved, but it’s not very often to see the human side of the decisions made in these tense moments — decisions like the one officer Julie Brownfield made when she stopped chasing the suspects to care for a scared boy, which was captured by her body camera. 

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The chase reached speeds in excess of 75 mph as an officer pursued two women down Hoke Road last week who were accused of shoplifting from an Englewood Walmart store. The Hyundai Tuscon crashed into some weeds following the 90-second chase. 

Two women in the SUV get out and take off on foot. 

“The officer’s natural instinct, typically, is to pursue the suspect,” Engewood police Sgt. Corey Follick said. 

But that’s not what happened. 

Brownfield, a veteran officer of nearly two decades, is about to chase after the women, until she sees a young boy in the vehicle. 

“Come here, sweetie,” she said to him. 

“I’m not pursuing. They left the child behind. I’m with the child,” she told dispatchers. 

The 7-year-old boy was in the vehicle during the chase, and was left behind by his grandmother and aunt. 

“You OK sweetheart, are you hurt?” the officer asks the child while she tries to comfort him. “It’s OK baby OK?” 

Follick, who is Brownfield’s supervisor, said his officer did the right thing. 

“The video speaks for itself, as you can see, she’s very compassionate with the child, probably being a mother herself, that motherly instinct kicked in,” he said. “Even though most police officers’ instinct is to do whatever they need to do to catch the bad guy — bad gals in this situation — this child’s welfare was more important than apprehending the suspects immediately.”

A short time later, other officers were able to catch up with the women using information relayed by Brownfield. 

Officers took the child’s grandmother, 43-year-old Diona Murray, into custody. Murray’s juvenile daughter, the boy’s aunt, also is facing charges, according to a police report. 

Diona Murray(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

Follick said navigating that entire situation wasn’t easy. 

“She has to de-escalate that situation and calm herself down and then also the child that was involved in this incident, and still she was able to communicate to other officers the suspects’ physical description and which direction they ran,” he said. 

The boy was returned safely to his mother in Trotwood. 

As far as his grandmother, Murray is still behind bars at the Montgomery County Jail, where she is being held on $50,000 bond on suspicion of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, online jail records show.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Ohio AG sues Kelly Heating and Air for second time

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 8:59 PM

Ohio AG files 2nd consumer protection lawsuit against Kelly Heating and Air

The Ohio Attorney General filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning for the second time.

AG Mike DeWine said the business, owned by Daniel W. Wells, took money for services never provided.

The last known address for the company — 7616 N. Main St. — is in Clayton where police are getting calls from angry customers.

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Others are trying to track him down there because the business address is still listed online.

One woman who lives on North Main Street by the business said angry people are showing up on her front porch. She even posted a sign on her door.

News Center 7’s Lauren Clark reached Wells by telephone, and asked how customers could contact him. 

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“They can call this number,” he said. “I don’t know why the lady in the house up front is doing what she’s doing. She’s causing all kinds of problems and making all kinds of false allegations about people coming by there.” 

The phone number listed online is 937-469-3889.

This is not the first time Kelly Heating and Air was sued by DeWine. In 2016, a consumer protection lawsuit was filed that alleged shoddy work.

>> Family confronts Dayton police officer during suspect’s arrest, prompt ‘Signal 99’ for officer assistance 

Among allegations in the second consumer protection lawsuit filed last month is that Wells took money for services he never provided. 

“We’re taking this action to protect consumers. We think people should know about the repeated problems customers have had with this operator,” DeWine stated in a release. 

Wells said he is no longer operating as a business.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Police: Man pays for pizza with fake $50 bill; gives driver $1 tip

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

Experts explain how to tell the difference between fake and real money
Experts explain how to tell the difference between fake and real money

A Hamilton man was charged with petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, and failure to appear on a $2,500 warrant after he allegedly paid for pizza with a fake $50 bill, Middletown police said.

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Daniel Gabbard, 24, also had a warrant out of Butler County for larceny and out of Trenton for drug abuse, according to a police report.

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Middletown police were called to Domino’s Pizza, 606 N. University Blvd., at 10 p.m. Friday on a report of a counterfeit $50 bill.

The manager told police she received an order for three large Hawaiian pizzas and one medium pizza and was told to deliver them to an address on South Broad Street.

The driver was met by a man near the address and told he ordered the pizzas. Another man showed up a few minutes later and paid for the pizzas, the report read. The bill was $33, and after giving $17 in change, and the driver was given a $1 tip. That’s when the driver realized the money allegedly was counterfeit. By that time, the subjects had run away, the report read.

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When police arrived at the house where the subjects were seen running, they spotted two men in the back yard. One subject ran away, the other ran into the house, according to the report. Police said they saw one subject hiding in the kitchen. When a female answered the door, she allowed officers inside.

Police said they saw several Domino’s Pizza boxes and the sticker on a box had a South Broad Street address.

Gabbard at first denied the allegations, but then told officers a friend gave him a fake $50 bill that he used to pay for the pizzas, according to the report. He said he knew the bill was counterfeit and he told officers he used another counterfeit $50 bill earlier in the day at a local Auto Zone store.

Gabbard failed to appear Monday morning for his hearing in Middletown Municipal Court, according to court records.

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