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Huber Heights man accused in federal hate crime case

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

Huber Heights man accused in federal hate crime case

A 32-year-old Huber Heights man was arrested Wednesday on a charge accusing him of committing a hate crime when federal authorities said he attacked a man outside a Cincinnati restaurant because the man identified himself as Jewish. 

Izmir Koch -- also under indictment in Montgomery County involving a June 2016 fight on Valley Street in Dayton -- remains in federal custody following his arrest on one count of committing a hate crime under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

Koch already has appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. 

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According to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday, Koch was outside a restaurant with others on Feb. 4, 2017, when he allegedly yelled out asking if anyone outside the restaurant was Jewish. 

A victim responded that he was Jewish and it is alleged that Koch then ran to the man and punched him in the head. When the victim fell to the ground, Koch and others continued hitting and kicking him. 

The victim suffered injuries from the attack, including rib contusions and a fracture of his orbital floor - the bottom portion of an eye socket. 

"Physically attacking someone because you think he's Jewish or Christian or Muslim or any other religion is a federal crime," U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said in the prepared statement. "This office prosecutes hate crimes." 

According to one Cincinnati media report, the victim was not actually Jewish, Glassman said at a news conference. 

KOCH INDICTED IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY

A check of Montgomery County online court records shows that Koch was indicted in July 2016 on two counts of felonious assault (deadly weapon and serious harm). The status of the case is labeled "reopened" and a motion in the case was filed Tuesday. 

In that motion filed by the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office, Koch and at least five other men accused of assaulting a man in a fight and stabbing June 7, 2016, outside SMS Trucking, 1602 Valley St., are claiming self-defense.

RELATED: 6 indicted in Valley Street fight, stabbing

The fracas involved men of Russian descent, police have said. 

One of the co-defendants claimed to a police detective that they committed the assault because the man "made disparaging comments about their mothers, and their culture does not permit such comments." 

The co-defendant also told the detective they all fought with the man because "they were not scared of him and they needed to handle the situation on their own." 

The prosecutor's office has asked the trial judge to compel the co-defendant to testify as to those statements. 

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Rainfall wreaks havoc: ‘Small portion of the road is gone’

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:51 PM

Landslide closes road

Heavy rains have washed away sections of some local roadways, prompting emergency closures and repairs by Montgomery County and Miamisburg officials to keep drivers safe.

Rainfall ate away a stretch of Upper River Road near Miamisburg, leaving a guardrail dangling above the Great Miami River and forcing the county to close a stretch of Upper River, according to Gary Shoup, Montgomery County chief deputy engineer.

“With all the rain we’ve been having – not just at this location but at other locations in the county – there have been some landslides,” Shoup said Monday. “A small portion of the road is gone. The posts of the guardrail are no longer embedded into the earth. They are just hanging there.”

RECORD RAINFALL: New record set in Dayton

The damage prompted at least the third recent road closure and fourth emergency action to keep drivers safe in and around Miamisburg due to roadways threatened by erosion, according to officials.

Last week, Miamisburg officials ordered emergency repairs on a portion of Ohio 725. The state route was closed in both directions at times between Riverview and Linden avenues for repairs to an eroded embankment and ditch, according to the city.

“We caught it early and got out there ahead of it,” said Miamisburg city engineer Bob Stanley.

He said the Ohio 725 issue was directly related to the amount of rain pounding Miamisburg’s most heavily traveled route that carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day.

“What we were seeing was significant erosion from runoff from the roadway,” Stanley said.

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On Upper River Road, a landslide from the riverbank along the road took about two feet off a lane along a 50- to 100-foot section between Farmersville-West Carrollton Road and Soldiers Home Miamisburg Road. About 150 vehicles used the road daily during a 2016 traffic count, Shoup said.

Along Ohio 725, large rocks have been fixed in place with concrete to help stabilize the area, Stanley said. The initial work is running the city about $80,000 to be addressed by an emergency ordinance next week, he said.

A section of Lower Miamisburg Road shared by Miamisburg and Montgomery County is also closed due to “slippage,” he said.

“It’s a hillside issue, not a river issue,” Stanley said.

Shoup said near-historic rainfall levels in February — normally when precipitation would come as slow-melting snow — as well as more record-setting rainy days since, laid the groundwork for the problems.

RELATED: Dayton February rain: How 2018 compares to record-shattering years

“It’s not unique to us, it’s throughout all of southern Ohio — the heavy rains and similar situations we’re encountering,” Shoup said.

The proximity of a swollen Little Twin Creek and Manning Road became a concern a couple months ago, prompting Montgomery County crews to place a concrete barrier between the roadway and creek west of Venus Road as a safety precaution, Shoup said.

This February was the fourth rainiest on record, with 5.62 inches at Dayton International Airport, the most since 1990, according to National Weather Service records. Precipitation in March was about a quarter inch more than average, while so far in April is running about one and half inches above normal, even before counting any rainfall Monday or Tuesday.

Montgomery County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday to keep Upper River Road closed until the engineer’s office can assess the feasibility of a permanent fix. Detours are currently place.

“There’s no decision that the road is going to be closed permanently or not,” Shoup said. “That is something we will have to look at.”

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Computer virus cripples Riverside police, fire server

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:06 PM

The City of Riverside said it is the victim of a computer virus that currently has certain police staff unable to access about a year's worth of files.

In a phone conversation Monday afternoon, City Manager Mark Carpenter confirmed the malware infection came in early last week, and initially appeared to be an "email fax." 

The virus is still under investigation, but Carpenter said a Riverside police and fire server has, at present, lost about a year's worth of files. 

Carpenter says the city is currently working with two outside companies to recover the data, some of which is backed up by hard copies. 

No citizen personal information is at risk as a result of the virus, Carpenter said.

He added that the city did not pay money as is often the case in ransomware attacks. 

Carpenter said the city should know within a few days how likely it is that the city will able to recover the missing files.

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Sheriff’s office cruiser rammed in gas station parking lot, 2 detained

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:04 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:03 PM

Police activity Philadelphia

UPDATE @ 3 p.m.: 

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Cruiser was rammed by a stolen car in the parking lot of a Valero gas station in Harrison Twp. Monday, according to deputies. 

Deputies approached the stolen vehicle that was parked in the lot of the Valero gas station at 2800 Philadelphia Drive, according to a media release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. 

“As deputies approached the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle noticed the deputies, re-entered (the) vehicle and fled the area. In fleeing the area, the driver of the vehicle struck a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle,” deputies said the in the release. 

There were no injuries initially reported, according to emergency scanner traffic. 

Our crew on the scene observed two people detained at the scene and placed in the back of cruisers. 

No other details were provided by investigators. 

FIRST REPORT

An officer’s cruiser was reportedly struck by a vehicle on Philadelphia Drive this afternoon, according to initial reports.

The incident was reported around noon.

We’re working to learn more.

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Shelby County fatal buggy crash: Victims ID’d, suspect makes court appearance

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:24 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:37 PM

Steve Baker talks to Larry Hansgen about the fatal buggy crash in Shelby County.

UPDATE @ 2:35 p.m.: 

Deputies have identified the victims of a fatal crash involving a horse-drawn buggy in Shelby County Friday night. 

Sarah Schwartz, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Ohio 47 near the Logan, Shelby county line around 9:10 p.m. Friday, according to a media release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. 

Sarah’s husband, Henry Schwartz, 26, and their two children, Elmer, 18-months, and Ester, 4-months, were all ejected in the crash, deputies said. 

Elmer and Ester were transported by a CareFlight medical helicopter to Dayton Children’s Hospital and remain in critical condition. 

Henry was transported to Miami Valley Hospital where he is also listed in critical condition, deputies said. 

Earlier, the Steven Eugene Hunter, who deputies have accused of fleeing the scene of the crash, made an initial court appearance in a Shelby County court. Hunter’s bond was set at $150,000. 

FIRST REPORT: 

A man accused of leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving a horse-drawn buggy in Shelby County made an initial court appearance Monday morning. 

FIRST REPORT: SUV hits buggy: Woman killed, husband, 2 infants critical

Steven Eugene Hunter, 42, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in connection to the crash that killed a 23-year-old woman Friday night. 

Steven Hunter

Hunter’s bond was set at $150,000, per the request of the county prosecutor, during the arraignment in Sidney Municipal Court. 

Additional details about the crash have not been released by investigators. At last check, three people, including two children and a man, were all in critical condition at Dayton hospitals. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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