Thursday, April 17, 2003

Police, mayor angry suspect wasn't in jail

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

One of the men wanted in a shootout Tuesday that ended with bullets sprayed all over Harrison Avenue was out of jail - but was already headed back to prison.

Cincinnati police were outraged that they were looking Wednesday night for 26-year-old Quincy Warren. In addition to facing three new counts of felonious assault in connection with Tuesday night's gunfight in Westwood, Warren was out of jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty two months ago in U.S. District Court to a federal weapons charge.

His sentencing had been scheduled for June.

"What is this guy doing out?'' Mayor Charlie Luken wanted to know. "He's been out since February. This is nuts.''

No one was hurt in the shootout. Police also were looking for another accused shooter, Damone Thomas. They arrested Arthur Thomas, 23, after seeing him running from the scene. He was wearing a bullet-resistant vest under his shirt.

Judge Paul Weber could not be reached for comment on his decision to let Warren out.

"It's unbelievable,'' said investigations Capt. Vince Demasi. "It's just extremely frustrating. We keep getting blamed for not doing our jobs, but I can't keep anybody in jail."

Warren had seven prior felony convictions for weapons and drugs, police said, and 18 misdemeanor convictions. The city has been trying to take more defendants with those kinds of track records to the federal court system where more jail time usually is possible.

Luken asked the police department for a list of everyone wanted on homicide charges over the past year. He wants to research each case to find out how many other suspects are in situations similar to Warren's.


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