Sunday, January 16, 2000


Beating-death suspect turns himself in

        A 23-year-old suspect wanted in connection with the death of a 22-year-old Price Hill man turned himself in to authorities Saturday.

        Cincinnati Police homicide detectives said Robert Allen Meyer of 789 Wells Ave., accompanied by his lawyer, surrendered at about 8:30 a.m.

        Mr. Meyer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Anthony Garcia of the 2400 block of Ferguson Road.

        The two men were involved in a fight Friday in the parking lot of a White Castle restaurant near the intersection of Elberon and Warsaw avenues at about 3:50 a.m.

        Police were called to Franciscan Hospital-Western Hills Campus about 4 a.m. to investigate the circumstances of a severely beaten man.

        Mr. Garcia was taken to the hospital by someone at the scene of the assault. He was later transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he died.

        According to a police report, Mr. Meyer hit Mr. Garcia in the face, causing him to fall and to strike his head on the pavement.

Police searching for bank robbery suspect
        SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — Authorities are looking for a male suspect who robbed a North Bend Road bank on Saturday.

        The robber entered the Northside Bank & Trust, 906 W. North Bend Road, about 10:30 a.m.

        He showed a handgun and gave a teller a note demanding cash. He was last seen running from the bank along Winton Road with an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

        The suspect is described as 6 feet tall with a medium build.

        No injuries were reported.

Man may have been behind both robberies
        SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — Hamilton County sheriff's officials think one man is responsible for two separate bank robberies Saturday in Sycamore Township.

        The suspect, described as a white male in his 50s, entered the Firstar Bank, 10851 Montgomery Road, at 9 a.m. and displayed a handgun.

        Police said he gave a teller a note demanding money.

        About 50 minutes later, the same man is believed to have entered Banc One, 7269 Kenwood Road.

        He again displayed a handgun and handed a teller a note demanding money.

        The amount of money taken has not been determined, police said.

        The suspect is about 6-foot-1, between 170 and 200 pounds. He had black hair, possibly a wig, sunglasses and a blue surgical mask. He was wearing black trousers, a black jacket and a blue fisherman's hat.

All escape unharmed in two house fires
        No injuries were reported Saturday after fire destroyed a single-family home in the 2900 block of Knoll Lane. Cincinnati firefighters were called to the house about 2 p.m., District 2 Fire Chief Roy Yocum said.

        A man and his two children had escaped from the home, which was engulfed by flames.

        Smoke detectors were installed and working, the chief said.

        Damage was estimated at about $50,000.

        Late Friday, a family escaped unharmed after fire damaged their house in the 4200 block of Whetsel Avenue.

        Firefighters were called shortly after 11 p.m. to the three-story wood-frame house.

        Residents learned of the blaze after hearing glass breaking on an upper floor.

        One resident tried to put out the fire with a small extinguisher.

        He and the other occupants left the house and alerted the authorities from a neighbor's home.

        Damages were estimated at $40,000, District 4 Fire Chief Keith Burkert said.

20-year-old charged with burglary, assault
        A 20-year-old St. Bernard man was charged with aggravated burglary and assault after breaking into a home early Saturday and attacking an occupant.

        Police said Jason Pfierman of the 700 block of Burr Oak St. went to an apartment complex in the 12100 block of Sycamore Terrace to find his girlfriend.

        Shortly after 5 a.m., he went to the apartment of Scott Boehmer, who told Mr. Pfierman to leave.

        But Mr. Pfierman continued to knock and eventually broke down the door and assaulted Mr. Boehmer, police said.

        Police were called and found Mr. Pfierman inside the apartment.

Statehouse in snafu over snake species
        COLUMBUS — The photo of Ohio's official reptile displayed at the Statehouse isn't what it appears to be, according to a snake expert.

        The picture is supposed to be of a black racer, designated the state reptile in 1995.

        But Pat Connor of Blacklick says the reptile is a black rat snake.

        Mr. Connor said the species often are mistaken but, to the trained eye, they are quite different in their coloring and the shape of their scales.

        “I caught my first snake when I was 5 years old down in the Hocking Hills,” he told the Columbus Dispatch for a story Saturday. “And it was a black racer, so I know.”

        The Ohio Historical Society has promised to check Mr. Connor's claim.

        Questions have been raised before about the photo, and the issue has been tangled since Dayton-area schoolchildren proposed designating an official state reptile in 1992.

        Ohio University zoologist Scott Moody said the youngsters had the black rat snake in mind. Their proposal described only a “black snake,” and said it was a relatively friendly and cuddly species found in all 88 counties.

        The Ohio Senate passed a bill in March 1994 designating the northern blacksnake as the state reptile. Later, senators were informed there is no such species.


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