Friday, September 07, 2001

Suspect's low bond irks officials

Michigan man charged with ramming cars

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — The Michigan man who rammed a dozen cars in a busy Kroger parking lot during Labor Day weekend is out of jail on $1,000 bond, angering the police chief here and the county's chief prosecutor.

        “It is frustrating that the bond was set so low,” said Chief Steve Hensley, “especially when you think about the thousands of dollars of damage done and the danger to all the people in the parking lot — not to mention the officers.”

        Aundre Black, 23, of Lansing, Mich. is accused of leading police on a high-speed chase through a busy parking lot after officers tried to arrest him for shoplifting a package of hot dogs and a bottle of orange juice.

        The Michigan man was released from the Kenton County jail on Tuesday after Kenton District Judge Martin Sheehan set Mr. Black's bond at $1,000.

        He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Kenton District Judge Douglas Grothaus.

        Mr. Black faces numerous felony charges, including robbery, fleeing, three counts of wanton endangerment and three counts of criminal mischief.

        Typically, the bond amount for this type of robbery charge alone would be $10,000, said Ken Easterling, chief prosecutor for the Kenton County Attorney's Office.

        “Our concern is that we have an out-of-state resident facing very serious felony charges, that could eventually add up to 50 years in prison, out on a very low cash bond,” Mr. Easterling said.

        “However, we respect the court's opinion.”

        Judge Sheehan did not return phone calls seeking comment.

        Witnesses and officers compared Mr. Black's wild ride through the strip center parking lot to an expensive demolition derby.

        Mr. Black does have automotive insurance, but it has a $10,000 cap on liability.

        Chief Hensley said there was $7,000 damage done to his two police vehicles alone.

        Of the other vehicles damaged, none is older than a 1995 model.

        Chief Hensley said his department is submitting a claim on its own insurance and paying the $1,000 deductible on each vehicle.

        He doesn't think the department will get enough money from Mr. Black to cover even the deductible.


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