Thursday, August 16, 2001

Youngest charged in riots convicted




By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The youngest person charged with felonies related to the April riots was convicted Wednesday on two of seven counts he faces.

        A Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge said she would hold off sentencing the 15-year-old Over-the-Rhine boy until a trial on the five other charges has been completed.

        Those other charges include accusations the boy, who is African-American, attacked a white Louisville truck driver April 10 in Over-the-Rhine while using racial slurs.

        The beating left the man with lingering medical problems.

        The teen, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, was found guilty Wednesday of robbery and aggravated riot for damaging and looting a hot dog vendor's cart near Fountain Square that same day.

        The conviction before Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon came despite the vendor's inability to identify the teen as one of the people who vandalized and stole from his cart.

        “I don't know if I could identify him,” said Tim Mulligan. “There were too many people.”

        Mr. Mulligan said it had just started to drizzle that Tuesday when a rowdy crowd of about 50 people emerged from Fountain Square.

        He said he became afraid after several of the people grabbed a man, threw him to the ground and began beating him.

        He grabbed a change dispenser and about $400 from his cart, and went across the street to Arby's.

        Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Rob Dziech showed the judge videotapes of the incident, in which the teen can be seen reaching into the cart, along with dozens of other people.

        Delores Cox, a security guard at Rothenberg School in Over-the-Rhine, where the teen was a student, testified that she identified him from videotapes and photographs shown to her by police May 29.

       



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