Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Kroger clerk seriously hurt aiding co-worker

Shoplifters wanted two bottles of wine

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Kroger checkout clerk ended up in the hospital early Tuesday morning and four teen-agers were charged — all after a run-in over two bottles of wine.

        Kroger clerk Jerry Steinriede, 34, of South Fairmount was listed in serious condition after he was maced, punched and run over by a car.

        Mr. Steinriede's mother, Henny Steinriede, told reporters at University Hospital that her son has several fractures in his pelvis and a broken leg — and that doctors planned exploratory surgery to see whether he has spinal cord damage.

        “He was trying to subdue one (of the teens), and he was kicked in the head,” Ms. Steinriede said. “From that point, he doesn't remember.”

        Investigators say a group of teens tried swiping wine from the Kroger store in Western Hills Plaza in Westwood about 2 a.m. The thieves wanted a bottle of Mogen David 20-20 and a bottle of Wild Vines.

        When Mr. Steinriede and another clerk, Cindy Miller, 40, tried to stop them, the teens got violent, police reports say.

        Donald Curtis Deters, 18, of Westwood was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery. Nicole R. Weber, 18, also of Westwood, was charged with two counts of complicity to commit aggravated robbery. Two juveniles also were charged.

Henny Steinriede asked for prayers for her son.
        Police say Mr. Deters tried to stuff two bottles of wine into his pants and leave the store without paying.

        After Ms. Miller tried to stop him, he punched and maced her, a police report said, then hit her over the head with a pellet gun. That's when Mr. Steinriede, a Kroger employee for 15 years, tried to help his co-worker and wrestled Mr. Deters to the ground.

        Police reports say that as the two wrestled out the door, a 16-year-old who has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and fleeing police, jumped into a car, picked up his friend and hit Mr. Steinriede with the car.

        The two suspects sped away until a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy caught up with them on northbound Interstate 275. The chase continued to eastbound I-74 and Ohio 128, until the driver hit a pipe on the side of the road, flipping the car.

        Mr. Deters was treated at Good Samaritan Hospital and released. The driver was taken to University Hospital by helicopter. He also was released.

        A second juvenile at the scene, a 15-year-old girl, was charged with complicity to commit aggravated robbery.

        Helping his co-worker was a natural thing for her son to do, Ms. Steinriede said.

        “I am very proud of him,” she said. “I have enormous faith in God that everything happens for something better.”

        She asks for prayers for her son and said she hopes the community will start paying more attention to its youth.

        She also hopes people see her son as a good example to youth.

        “I am hopeful we learn our lesson,” she said.



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