Sunday, August 12, 2001

Tristate A.M. Report

Bank robber forces 3 employees into vault

        A bank robber put three employees of Franklin Savings and Loan's Price Hill branch into the vault Saturday morning before he escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, said Cincinnati Police Sgt. Dave Wuest.

        The employees released themselves from the vault before alerting Cincinnati police of the robbery in the 5100 block of Glenway Avenue at about 9:30 a.m., he said. No one was injured.

        According to Sgt. Wuest, the bank robber — described as black, in his 20s, of thin build and about 5 feet 10 inches tall — wore black pants, a white T-shirt, and a hood — brandished a small handgun and demanded money.

        Those with information can call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

Apartment fire causes $100,000 damage

        A three-alarm fire early Saturday morning at Timber View Apartments in Westwood caused $100,000 damage and left renters in nine units scurrying for safety.

        Four people were taken to University Hospital because of smoke they inhaled and cuts they received while escaping their building.

        Yvonne Harris, Eddie Jones, Donald Hodges and Leana Hayes were treated and released by Saturday afternoon. Fire officials continued to investigate why flames broke out in a basement apartment at 3080 McHenry Ave., shortly after 2:30 a.m. and caught a top-floor apartment aflame.

Driver could be charged with murder

        A Sycamore Township man could be charged with murder now that the Hamilton man he is accused of driving over in June died Fridaynight at University Hospital from injuries sustained in the hit-and-run incident.

        Ray Enfinger, 19, of the 7800 block of School Road, had been indicted on attempted murder and felonious charges because, according to Hamilton County prosecutors, he deliberately ran his car over Timothy Mills, 38, of Hamilton, on June 23.

        Mr. Mills was walking in the 12000 block of First Avenue in Sycamore Township when he was run over. Mr. Mills' injuries included a crushed chest, a fractured skull and other broken bones.

        If charged and convicted of murder, Mr. Enfinger will face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

Fatal wreck shuts two lanes on I-75

        One man was killed Saturday when his motorcycle and a tractor-trailer collided on Interstate 75, just south of I-74, at about 6:05 p.m., Cincinnati police said.

        The two right lanes of I-75 were shut down for more than two hours as police investigated the fatal wreck. At 8 p.m. southbound traffic was bumper to bumper for 3 miles to the Mitchell Avenue exit.

Suspect arrested in bad-check scam

        A man accused of leading a bad-check ring that bilked area banks of more than $1 million in the past five years was arrested Friday after a car chase from Winton Terrace to Winton Place.

        Charles Jackson, 25, of the 1000 block of Groesbeck Road in College Hill, faces 11 counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He was indicted on the charges last year and had been wanted on outstanding warrants.

        Cincinnati police said Mr. Jackson's scheme began in fall 1996. Police said he persuaded others to deposit bogus personal checks that he gave them into savings and checking accounts to artificially inflate the balances. Before the checks cleared, he would have these people make withdrawals and he would keep a percentage of the money.

        To leave an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers, 352-3040, or the Cincinnati Police Division's fraud squad, 352-3542.

Child starts fire, 2 killed, 2 injured

        MIAMISBURG, Ohio — A child playing with a lighter or matches started a trailer fire that killed two people and injured two others Saturday morning, fire officials said.

        The Montgomery County coroner's office identified Richard Underwood, 22, and his 2-year-old son, Ian.

        Mr. Underwood's daughter, Hailey Underwood, was injured in the fire. The 5-year-old girl was in critical condition Saturday night at Children's Medical Center, hospital officials said. The children's mother, 22-year-old Amy Underwood, was treated and released from Miami Valley Hospital, a hospital supervisor said.

Man chasing hat on highway killed by semi

        VANDALIA, Ohio — A man was killed by a tanker truck after chasing his hat onto Interstate 75, setting off a chain reaction of crashes that closed the highway for two hours.

        Ed Flucas, 79, of Dayton, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at 3:10 p.m. Friday on southbound I-75 about a half mile south of U.S. 40.

        Mr. Flucas pulled over to the shoulder. Officials are unsure why Mr. Flucas stopped and got out of his vehicle, said Sgt. Eric Widmyer of the State Highway Patrol.

        “He took a couple of steps into the right lane of the interstate,” Sgt. Widmyer said. “A semi went by and blew his hat off. He took a couple more steps out to retrieve his hat.”

        The tanker swerved to avoid Mr. Flucas but struck him, then hit two vehicles, one towing a boat. The boat was dislodged and struck another vehicle.

        One person was treated and released from Grandview Hospital in Dayton, Sgt. Widmyer said.


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