Thursday, July 19, 2001

Man arrested in saliva-throwing case

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 42-year-old Riverside man was arrested Wednesday in the bizarre case of a man who has been throwing fluids on women, police said, after he hit a female undercover officer with saliva.

        Nearly two dozen such incidents have been reported in recent weeks, including some in Northern Kentucky and several in Hamilton County. Most, however, took place in downtown Cincinnati, including six incidents Friday within two hours.

        Police charged Anthony Searles of Hillside Avenue with inducing panic and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. Mr. Searles, who police said gave a statement about previous incidents downtown, listed his place of employment as a flooring company in Blue Ash.

        “It is quite possible this is some type of sexual fetish,” said Cincinnati Police Detective Paul Renadette. Mr. Searles has a record of previous sexual offenses, he said.

        The arrest was made at 224 E. 8th Street.

        “At 11:30 a.m. we observed a subject throw saliva on an undercover officer,” Detective Renadette said. “The subject threw the saliva from his hand.”

        Police had been running an undercover operation downtown during lunch hours for several days using white, attractive female officers dressed in business attire — which matched the description of previous victims, Detective Renadette said.

        The suspect's saliva, which landed on the officer's skirt, will be tested to see if he has any diseases, Detective Renadette said.

        Tests on the clothing of previous victims had determined only that the substance involved was not blood, semen or urine.

        “The (undercover) officer was not injured, and she did not have any exposure to her skin,” Detective Renadette said.

        Police said Mr. Searles is a suspect in other incidents. None of the victims was injured.

        Police don't want to release the suspect's photograph until the victims have a chance to try to pick him out in a lineup, Detective Renadette said.


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