Ohio News Briefs


Police: Fuel truck driver overdoses at Ohio gas station

CLEVES, Ohio (AP) — Police say a fuel truck driver was found slumped over the wheel of his running vehicle after apparently overdosing at a southwest Ohio gas station.

WLWT-TV reports 36-year-old Kristopher Phoenix has been charged with felony drug possession and operating a vehicle under the influence. The Cincinnati man was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Cleves, 17 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

Cleves Police Chief Rick Jones says Phoenix was “sitting on a bomb.”

Police say a customer noticed Phoenix slumped over the wheel of the tanker and notified store clerks who called police. Officers found a film canister inside the truck containing heroin, pills and a straw. Police say Phoenix didn’t need to be revived with the opioid reversal drug naloxone.

Phoenix’s public defender wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.

Northwest Ohio bracing for near-record flooding

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Major flooding is being predicted over the coming days in northwestern Ohio where residents in Findlay are piling up sandbags.

The National Weather Service expects near-record flooding in the city by Friday morning. Many city streets already are closed because of high water.

The forecast for flooding along the Blanchard River jumped after 3 more inches of rain fell overnight on Thursday.

Findlay officials in the city roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Toledo say many streets are hazardous.

The city has had five major floods over the past 10 years that have caused millions of dollars in damage.

Boy sues over arrest for Instagram comment amid clown scare

CINCINNATI (AP) — A lawsuit alleges a 12-year-old suburban Cincinnati boy was improperly arrested at school and prosecuted for social media comments goading purported frightening clowns to visit his area as reports of such encounters swirled around the country last fall.

His parents seek unspecified damages in the federal suit against his school district, an officer and prosecutors. They say his Instagram comments made no direct threats, yet authorities handcuffed, suspended and prosecuted him for causing public alarm and harassing the Instagram account’s operator.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of the Ohio harassment law under which the boy’s charged as a juvenile. The now-13-year-old denies the charges.

A Sycamore Community Schools spokeswoman said Thursday the district hasn’t seen the lawsuit and isn’t commenting.

A message was left for the Hamilton County prosecutor.

Ohio teen charged with killing man who broke up fight

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with aggravated murder for killing a man who had tried to break up a fight at a Cleveland city park.

Cleveland.com reports Lawrence Harris, of Cleveland, was arrested Wednesday by U.S. Marshals for the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Aramis Roey last month.

Roey was playing basketball with two nephews when the fight broke out. Police say Roey walked away when Harris then challenged him to fight.

Police say Harris shot Roey twice after Roey returned to retrieve belongings and fired a third round into Roey’s body after he fell to the ground.

Police say the gun, ammunition and suspected crack cocaine were found in Harris’ car.

Court records don’t indicate whether Harris has an attorney.

Woman sentenced to 4 years in prison for deadly crash

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A 23-year-old woman has been sentenced to four years in prison for her role in a crash that killed an Ohio couple.

The Canton Repository reports Andrea Turner previously pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in the crash that killed 61-year-old Randy Scott and his wife, 53-year-old Brenda Scott.

Court records show Turner ran a red light before crashing into the Scotts’ car March 4.

The Scotts were taken to local hospitals where they were pronounced dead. Turner was treated at a hospital and later released.

Prosecutors say Turner was speeding at the time of the crash, and sun glare was another factor.

Turner apologized to the victims’ family members at the sentencing hearing Wednesday.

Man sentenced to life in prison in drive-by shooting

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man found guilty in a drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old Ohio boy in 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison.

A jury found 24-year-old Donnell Lindsey guilty June 12 on charges that include murder and attempted murder in the Sept. 15, 2015 shooting that killed 3-year-old Major Howard and injured a woman.

The boy and the woman were sitting in a parked car in Cleveland when a car full of men drove by and fired at gang members gathered at a nearby vigil. Major was struck in the chest and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Lindsey proclaimed his innocence at the sentencing hearing Wednesday, calling his case “hearsay.”

The judge sentenced Lindsey to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 37 years.

Family of driver hit by deputy files wrongful death lawsuit

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The family of a man who died after being struck by an Ohio deputy’s speeding vehicle has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the deputy and the sheriff’s office.

Prosecutors declined to press charges against Franklin County Deputy Brian Fritz in the July 2015 crash that killed 77-year-old Nyal Brown.

Authorities say Fritz was traveling close to 100 mph to assist an officer pursuing a suspected drunken driver when he crashed into Brown’s van. Brown was ejected. The lawsuit by Brown’s estate alleges that Fritz was traveling at unsafe speeds without proper supervision and that Brown’s death was avoidable.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on pending litigation.

Bill Brown tells WBNS-TV he wants justice for his brother.

The lawsuit seeks tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

Police say $10K reward offered for Ohio shooting information

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police in a Cincinnati suburb say an anonymous donor is offering $10,000 to help solve a mass shooting at gender reveal party.

Colerain Township police are still trying to identify two gunmen who opened fire Saturday night at a house party held to announce the gender of a pregnant woman’s unborn child. The motive remains unclear.

Police said Wednesday someone who didn’t want to be named is offering the money for information leading to arrests.

One woman died, and eight people were injured. The slain woman was identified as 22-year-old Autum Garrett, of Huntington, Indiana. The injured included three young children and the expectant mother, who told reporters she lost her baby, a boy.

Police have been urging people in the community to come forward with any information.

Man accused of posing as cop pleads not guilty to charges

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man accused of handcuffing children while impersonating a police officer conducting a “scared straight” program has pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports 26-year-old Christopher Hendon pleaded not guilty this week in a Summit County court to charges that also include abduction, assault and endangering children. He also is charged with impersonating a police officer, criminal trespass and carrying a gun into the county juvenile detention center.

County sheriff’s detectives say they began investigating in April after learning Hendon tried to take handcuffed children into the juvenile detention center. Investigators say he also tried to bring children into the jail and courthouse and visited schools while armed and posing as a police officer.

Hendon’s attorney says Hendon was trying to help children.