Sunday, August 26, 2001

Accused cop killer arrested hours earlier




The Associated Press

        WHITEHALL, Ohio — A man who allegedly shot and killed a police officer had been arrested hours earlier for drunken driving, police said Saturday.

        Bela Mozer was arrested Friday afternoon after leaving the scene of an accident, Lt. Richard Zitzke said.

        Two hours later, Officer Terry McDowell, 35, was shot to death and his partner was wounded when they went to Mr. Mozer's duplex to issue a ticket to Mr. Mozer's wife for driving without a license, Lt. Zitzke said.

        Mr. Mozer later died after a shootout with police, and Lt. Zitzke said he apparently committed suicide as officers closed in. Officers were not sure what prompted Mr. Mozer to open fire, Lt. Zitzke said.

        Lt. Zitzke said the gun used in the shooting was stolen from Mr. Mozer's neighbor, Joseph Buker, 52, who was killed Feb. 3. Lt. Zitzke said Mr. Mozer was a suspect in Mr. Buker's death.

        Lt. Zitzke said officers arrested Mr. Mozer about 4:45 p.m. Friday on charges of DUI and leaving an accident.

        When Mr. Mozer's wife, Anna, drove to the police station to pay his bail, officers told her she could not drive home because she did not have a valid driver's license, Lt. Zitzke said.

        When another officer saw Mrs. Mozer drive off in the car, Officer McDowell and his partner, Eric Brill, went to the Mozers' house to give her a ticket.

        It was then when Bela Mozer shot at the officers through the front screen door, Lt. Zitzke said.

       



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