Thursday, April 12, 2001

Arrests mostly of young males

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Sixty-six people — five of them juveniles — were arrested Tuesday on charges that included inducing a riot, failure to disperse, criminal damage and drug abuse.

        The most severe charges stemmed from firing guns into the air, looting, stealing from a pawn shop or illegally entering a store and handing out soft drinks to people involved in the break-in.

        The bulk of the people arrested during Tuesday's riots were young black adults, between the ages of 18 and 24, who now face charges of disorderly conduct and breaking and entering.

        Twelve, including two women, face felony charges. If convicted, they could spend up to a year in prison. They were arraigned Wednesday before Municipal Judge Ralph E. Winkler, who set bonds of $20,000 or $30,000 per person. Their cases will go before a grand jury in the next two weeks.

        A third of those arraigned came from Over-the-Rhine.

        The other people arrested face misdemeanor charges and, if convicted, face up to six months injail and $1,000 in fines each.

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        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said police and prosecutors will pursue criminal charges against protesters who destroyed property, burglarized businesses or harmed bystanders.

        He said prosecutors will seek videotapes from citizens and media in an effort to identify suspects.

        “They are law-breaking thugs who should be prosecuted vigorously,” Mr. Allen said Wednesday. “That will not be tolerated in this community. Throwing rocks and breaking windows will not bring Mr. Thomas back.” Timothy Thomas, 19, was killed by police Saturday.

        Nathan Ebert, 20, of Florence, said he has no regrets. The young white man went downtown Tuesday to help those arrested with bail proceedings when he learned a march was about to begin.

        He decided to participate. Now he is under house arrest and faces a riot charge for allegedly throwing bottles at police. He denies such behavior, saying that pictures taken by his friends will prove the police wrong.

        “A lot of the things that happened definitely shouldn't have happened,” he said. “Someone has to be there to see what's going on.”

        He said he would like to attend future City Council meetings about the riots. But “right now, I can't, because I'm on house arrest.”

        Clemmie Jones, a Fairmount resident, said Wednesday that she hated to see her son, Darnell, 29, leave her home Tuesday evening. They had been watching a newscast about the violence when he said he wanted to see it for himself, she said.

        “He just walked into that,” his mom said.

        Mr. Jones, a construction worker, was at the Hamilton County Justice Center, facing charges of breaking and entering and resisting arrest.


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- Arrests mostly of young males
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