Residents who live near Middletown bar take safety precautions

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 2:05 PM
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 4:09 PM

They say drugs, prostitution common outside bar

Residents who live near a Middletown bar said they want the establishment closed permanently because of safety concerns that lower property values.

They may soon get their wish.

Middletown police and the State Investigative Unit conducted an investigation last week at Bar Boca, Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw told the Journal-News. He said the agencies found six liquor violations, including drug use that led to one arrest, at the downtown bar located at 124 Charles St.

MORE: Bond set for man who allegedly fired shots outside Bar Boca in Middletown

The bar owners, who live in Hamilton, were also cited for unsanitary conditions, he said.

Police have received complaints about the bar from residents and midnight patrol officers, the chief said.

“We’re working on getting it shut down,” Muterspaw said. “We don’t want it open. The community doesn’t want it open. It’s not fair to the residents who live there. It’s a bad place in that neighborhood. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m tired of being nice to people who don’t care about the city.”

After further investigation this week, Muterspaw said he anticipates additional violations with other agencies.

The owners of Bar Boca could not be reached for comment.

If Bar Boca is closed, it would be the second time a bar in that location was shut down by the city. Miller’s Lounge closed in 2014 after repeated nuisance violations, police said.

RELATED: Middletown bar may be deemed nuisance property after shooting

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission upheld a decision by the Division of Liquor Control Commission that rejected the liquor renewal application from Miller’s Lounge.

About 65 residents and business owners in the area have signed a petition asking the city to close Bar Boca. The petition was started by Ronnie Perkins.

Perkins, who lives on Charles Street, said he wants Bar Boca closed permanently. He has installed surveillance cameras that point toward the bar, he said.

MORE: Middletown police want to use your security cameras

After Bar Boca opened last fall, there was a shooting outside the bar 10 days later, Perkins said.

He said Bar Boca patrons gather outside the bar, attract prostitutes and commit violent crimes.

One female neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous because she fears for her safety, said after the shooting at the bar, she asked Perkins to install 2-by-4 wooden braces on her front and back doors.

Before she mows the back yard, she racks up used needles and discharged empty liquor bottles that she believes are tossed there by bar patrons, she said.

MORE: Middletown police urge residents to report potential violence

“It’s just horrible over there,” said the woman who used to sit on her porch every night until Bar Boca opened.

Another woman who lives near the bar called it “a war zone” because of the violence and illegal activity.

“I’m petrified,” said the woman, who also asked to remain anonymous because she fears for her safety.

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WHIO Reports: Human trafficking

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

Sign of Human Trafficking

This edition of WHIO Reports will focus on human trafficking. It sounds like the kind of crime that happens somewhere else around the country. But, in fact, it’s happening in the Miami Valley. It’s a combination of a lot of crimes, often times it involves drugs, prostitution, organized crime, forced labor – some of them or all of the above. 

RELATED: Indiana gas stations teach staff to report human trafficking

Guests include: Tonya Folks, Trafficking Liaison with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; Susan Gruenberg, Human Trafficking Awareness Advocate and Amy Wilhelm, Safe Harbor House (Springfield).

WHIO Reports airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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Hot with the slight chance for rain for the rest of the holiday weekend

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

It's going to be hot today and Monday, with the slight chance for rain each day.

Lots of sunshine is expected today with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees. With the daytime heat, there may be an isolated shower or storm, but it looks like most will stay dry. Don’t cancel your outdoor plans, but have a backup plan indoors, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. 

>>Live Interactive Doppler 7 Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST: 

  • Hot and humid today through Tuesday
  • Slight chance for an isolated shower or storm today and Monday
  • Better chance for rain Wednesday and Thursday

>>WHIO Weather App

Tonight: A mild night is expected again with temperatures dropping into the middle to upper 60s.

>>How to spot Jupiter through the weekend

Monday (Memorial Day): Should be a dry day, but once again an isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out. It will be a hot day with highs near 90 degrees.

>>UV Index: How to protect your skin 

Tuesday: Another hot day is expected with highs near 90 under mostly sunny skies.

Wednesday: Remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto could bring a chance for rain, maybe storms with highs in the middle 80s. 

Thursday: Remnants of Alberto will give us more rain, highs in the middle 80s.

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Family sues district after daughter, 5, sexually assaulted on bus by fifth grade student

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 9:02 PM

Family Sues District After 5-Year-Old Daughter Sexually Assaulted on Bus by Fifth Grade Student

A family is suing the Jackson Local School District in federal court for a 2016 incident in which their 5-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a fifth grade student on a bus, according to the lawsuit.

>> Read more trending news

The 11-year-old boy had been disciplined for throwing a lit match on the bus and was supposed to sit in the front right seat alone, the family’s attorney told WJW.

But that didn’t happen.

“The driver is unable to see the seat right behind him,” Mills told WJW. “So then over a period of a couple weeks, the kindergartner is subjected to sexual assaults. It is horrific. It is one of the most horrifying cases I have ever handled.”

The boy was charged with gross sexual imposition, according to WJW. A police report indicated video on the school bus showed the sexual assaults.

The Jackson Schools superintendent would not comment because it is an active lawsuit, according to WJW. The boy and his family have since moved out of the district.

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Arrest made at scene where multiple vehicles were hit by rocks on WB U.S. 35 in Dayton

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:49 AM

Multiple vehicles hit by rocks on WB U.S. 35 in Dayton

UPDATE @ 9:37 a.m.:

Police arrested one male juvenile at the scene where rocks were being thrown onto vehicles traveling westbound on U.S. 35.

The juvenile was taken to the Juvenile Justice Center where he was booked on several counts of vandalism, according to a Dayton police report.

According to a report, the suspect admitted to throwing rocks at vehicles on U.S. 35.

It was not confirmed if anyone else was involved but the suspect told police another male juvenile threw rocks as well.

FIRST REPORT (May 26):

Nearly 20 motorists pulled over Saturday night after their vehicles were struck by someone throwing rocks while they were traveling west on U.S. 35.

Thomas Acco of Jefferson Twp. and his girlfriend had just dropped off their children and were headed home when a rock came through the front of the windshield.

“I was in shock that someone would play with someone’s life like this,” he said.

“Glass just flew everywhere. We had a little swerve contest with the car in front of us — their windshield got hit also. We just pulled to the side and it was like 15, 20 cars lined up to the side all with damage.”

Motorists line up along westbound U.S. 35 May 26, 2018, just before the South Smithville Road exit after their vehicles were struck by rocks.(JAMES BUECHELE / STAFF)

Dayton police Lt. Chris Malson said there are no suspects, but plenty of victims.

“We got a report of multiple cars, approximately 18 of them, that were hit with rocks as they were driving westbound on U.S. 35 near Woodman (Drive),” he said. “All the calls came within about five minutes of each other.

The Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center said they received starting at 10 p.m. The last one received was at 10:29 p.m.

One of the victims was Susan Myers of Lima who was headed back home with her husband, riding in the front passenger seat.

“We heard a loud bang and looked up and saw the damage on the windshield,” she said. “We immediately pulled over and noticed that there were several cars ahead of us also pulled over with their hazard lights on.”

>> Troy bicyclist struck, killed identified

There are no reports of injuries, but Myers said they were shaken and now have to deal with broken glass inside the car and their insurance company.

Tony Gerardi of Xenia said he was driving home from visiting friends in Dayton when his car was struck.

“I hope police get them. I’m safe, thank God,” said Gerardi, “I don’t know why someone would do something like that.”

Earlier Saturday, around 4:45 p.m., another two motorists, one from Illinois and one from Dayton, reported their windshields were struck by rocks. At least one of the windshields shattered just when they went under a bridge. They told police the rocks appeared to come from the north side of the highway but were not able to see the culprits. Police officers found a pile of rocks laying on the side of the highway before the South Smithville Road exit, according to a Dayton police report.

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

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