Thursday, September 26, 2002

Police unit assigned to all home invasions

One shot, one tied up in case that prompts change in procedure

By Jane Prendergast,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A home-invasion shooting Wednesday in West Price Hill left a man shot, his girlfriend tied up — and undercover drug officers helping investigate.

[photo] Cincinnati Police Crime Scene Examiner Ron Camden examines a child's football helmet at the scene of a home invasion Wednesday
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Officers from the Cincinnati Police Department's Street Corner Unit now must respond to all home-invasion robberies. Chief Tom Streicher ordered that effective Monday because many such robberies are related to drugs.

        “It's dope — so many of these are about dope,” the chief said. “This is just the best way to handle them.”

        The undercover drug officers have responded to such incidents off and on for some time, but the chief said he wanted the relationship formalized. Now, district investigators will handle the initial investigation, but Street Corner members — on overtime, if necessary — will be responsible for processing any drug evidence and executing search warrants.

        “A young cop might walk in there and not see what a veteran drug investigator would,” Chief Streicher said. “Somebody from Street Corner might see a list of victims and know three of the names on the list from some other drug investigation they're doing.”

        Officers responding to the house on Beech Avenue a little before 6 a.m. Wednesday found Rayshon Hooten, 27, shot once in the neck and once in the left shoulder. His girlfriend, Charlene Johnson, 23, had her hands tied with a cord. Mr. Hooten was taken to University Hospital, where he went into surgery.

        Two others also were in the house — Mr. Hooten's 1-year-old son, and a 28-year-old man. They were not hurt.

        Ms. Johnson told officers that four masked men broke in, telling her she should know where the money is because she'd been with her boyfriend a long time. She said they knew her, but she didn't know them.

        The men tried to break into a floor safe, damaging it. They also broke out a window of Mr. Hooten's red Honda Accord, which was parked outside, and ransacked the car.

        Police said Wednesday they believe the break-in was drug-related, but did not say if they found drugs in the apartment.


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