Man in court for belly button fixation sparks autism debate

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:24 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:23 PM


            Graig Burrier sits in the courtroom during a hearing Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 in the Summit County Common Please Court in Akron, Ohio. An Ohio judge must decide how to deal with Burrier, a man who has been diagnosed with autism and has repeatedly violated his probation for sexual battery by asking women to touch their bellybuttons. Burrier, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a probation violation after approaching a female jogger and asking to see her bellybutton on two days in July. (Karen Schiely, Akron Beacon Journal via AP)
Graig Burrier sits in the courtroom during a hearing Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 in the Summit County Common Please Court in Akron, Ohio. An Ohio judge must decide how to deal with Burrier, a man who has been diagnosed with autism and has repeatedly violated his probation for sexual battery by asking women to touch their bellybuttons. Burrier, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a probation violation after approaching a female jogger and asking to see her bellybutton on two days in July. (Karen Schiely, Akron Beacon Journal via AP)

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.

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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.

"It's a really pressing matter," Lerner said. "The criminal justice system is not often equipped to handle people with autism."

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1 hospitalized after mobile home fire in Clark County

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 3:11 AM

UPDATE @ 3:15 a.m: One person was transported to an area hospital after a fire occurred at a mobile home in South Vienna early Thursday morning.

TRENDING: No arrests in fatal shooting at Sugarcreek Twp. apartment complex

Fire crews responded to the 10000 block of Buena Vista Road just after 2 a.m. on a fully involved trailer fire, according to initial reports.

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Damage estimates were not immediately available, however, officials said damage to the inside of the trailer was severe.

The occupant that was able to escape the fire was sent to the hospital for observational purposes, officials confirmed. 

The fire remains under investigation. 

INITIAL REPORT 

Crews are responding to the 1000 block of Buena Vista Road on a mobile home fire that occurred early Thursday morning. 

Initial reports indicate the trailer was fully involved just after 2 a.m.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will continue to update this story with more details. 

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Air Quality alert issued for some today; stormy pattern developing to end the week 

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:21 AM

Rain and storms come back by the weekend.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: Fire and Weather

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

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  • Air Quality Alert issued for Butler, Warren County from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. today
  • Temps on the rise to end the week 
  • Much needed rain arrives Friday, lingers into weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

>> ISS will fly over Dayton this week: When to look 

THURSDAY: Butler and Warren counties are under a Air Quality Alert from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mostly sunny skies are expected with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. It will be warmer with highs reaching into the middle 80s. There is a chance showers could arrive overnight.

FRIDAY: Expect a chance for showers and storms, especially by afternoon. There is a chance for one or two stronger storms, especially southwest of Dayton by evening. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather

SATURDAY: Numerous showers and storms are expected scattered throughout the day. Outside of storms, skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the lower 80s.

SUNDAY: Expect lots of clouds with occasional showers and storms. Highs will be near 80 degrees.

MONDAY: Partly sunny skies will start the week with a lingering chance for passing showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 3:27 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 1:52 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic.

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Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and NEWS 95.7 WHIO.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On the ramp from northbound I-75 to Benchwood Road, 3-vehicle crash reported around 1:25 a.m. Minor injuries reported. The off ramp is currently blocked. 
3-vehicle crash on the off ramp from NB I-75 to Benchwood Road

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO Weather App

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • On West Wenger Road in Englewood, contractors will begin a water main replacement project. One lane of traffic will be maintained in either direction on West Wenger Road between Fallview Avenue and Arcadia Boulevard. One-thousand feet of water main will be replaced, Englewood police say.
  • Valley Street between Stanley Avenue and Brandt Street will be closed for reconstruction through late October. This is the first phase of a project to reconstruct Valley Street from Stanley Avenue to Rita Street.
  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-70 east Ramp to SR 235 north, RAMP CLOSURE July 16 - September 28. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north to I-70 west to SR 235 north. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west
  • I-75 between SR 48 and Needmore Road, Nightly lane closures April 29 - July 31 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Will become double lane closures at 10 p.m. 
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 235 north at the I-70 interchange, ROAD CLOSURE July 16 - September 28. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north to I-70 west to SR 235 north. 
  • SR 4 south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure July 9 - 27. Two southbound lanes will remain open. 

GREENE COUNTY

  • State Route 235 between Dayton Yellow Springs and Enon Roads, ROAD CLOSURE for six months. The official detour is U.S. 68, West Hyde, and West Enon Roads.
  • Trebein Road from U.S. 35, Lane restrictions April 16 - August, 2018 for construction of a right turn lane. One lane will remain maintained at all times with flagging operations. 

WARREN COUNTY

MIAMI COUNTY

  • I-75 between CR 25A (Tipp City) and Eldean Road, Lane closures June 18 - Aug. 31. One lane will remain open at all times. These closures will not be in effect Friday mornings - Sunday afternoons. 
  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • US 36 between Scott Drive and Aerovent Drive, Lane closure April 26 - Aug. 31. 

DARKE COUNTY

  • SR 571 between Palestine Union City Road and Fisher Dangler Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE July 23 - Aug. 14. The official detour is: SR 49 to SR 47 to Indiana SR 28 to Indiana SR 32 to SR 571.
  • Arcanum Bears-Mill Road between Folkerth Road and Erisman Road, ROAD CLOSURE June 4 - Aug. 3. The official detour is: SR 49 to US 36/US 127 to US 36
  • SR 49 between Rossburg Lightsville Road and SR 47, Daily lane closures June 18 - July 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • Sweitzer Street/ West Fourth Street between Pine Street and Sycamore Street, ROAD CLOSURE May 21 - May 31, 2019. The official detour is: Pine Street to Washington Avenue to Broadway.
  • US 36/US 127 between Hogpath Road and Horatio- Harris Creek Road, Daily lane closures April 30 - Aug. 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

MERCER COUNTY

  • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 48 between Russia Versailles Road and SR 66, Daily lane closures July 3 - 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times.  

CLARK COUNTY

  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north
  • Spangler Road south between Restoration Drive and I-70, Traffic pattern switch March 26 - Aug. 15. Southbound Spangler Road traffic going to I-675 south and I-70 east will be moved to northbound side of I-675. Traffic will then be redirected to the southbound side of I-675 after passing over I-70. 

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

  • SR 560 between SR 29 and US 36, Daily lane closures June 25 - July 30 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction using flaggers.
  • US 36 between Zimmerman Road and Kite Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 11 - Aug. 10. The official detour is: SR 235 to SR 29 to SR 560.

LOGAN COUNTY

  • SR 540 between US 33 and CR 25S, Daily lane closures June 18 - July 30 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 
  • SR 235 between T-192 and T-47, Lane closures June 4 - July 31 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction using flaggers.
  • SR 117 between SR 274 and T-37, Lane closures June 4 - July 31 between 7 a.m and 4 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction using flaggers. 

AUGLAIZE COUNTY

  • SR 196 between SR 67 and Auglaize County Line Road, Daily lane closures June 19 - July 30 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction using flaggers. 
  • US 33 between SR 29 and I-75, Daily lane closures March 26 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 

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Condition of woman found near Washington Twp. pool unknown

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 9:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 11:16 PM

A woman was taken to the hospital after a report of an accidental drowning in Washington Twp.

UPDATE @ 10:55 p.m.: The condition of the woman found unresponsive, at the side of an in-ground swimming pool at a private residence on Ladera Trail in Washington Twp., is still not known.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Washington Twp. fire personnel arrived and took over medical treatment. They took the woman to Kettering Medical Center.

INITIAL REPORT

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A 44-year-old woman has been taken to a hospital after what is being called an accidental near drowning at a private residence in Washington Twp.

Officials tell us the woman may have fallen into an in-ground pool at the home in the 1700 block of Ladera Trail. Medics were able to find a pulse as they took her to a hospital, officials said. Her condition was not immediately known.

SEE ALSO: Dayton mayor comments on child’s drowning

Family members were performing CPR on the woman when medics arrived, said officials, who were told the woman was in the water less than a few minutes.

The call was dispatched just before 8:30 p.m., according to Montgomery County Regional Dispatch. 

Stay with whio.com for breaking news. 

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

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