Thursday, May 1, 2003

Man who tried to get help gets break

Charges dropped; sought gun victim assistance

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Andrew November, right, closes his eyes and lets out a short sigh as charges against him are dismissed on Wednesday. His lawyer, Greg Cohen, is at left.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
The slaying of Varion Mines haunts Andrew November.

The University of Cincinnati freshman tried to seek help for the 23-year-old Westwood man as he lay dying from a gunshot wound on a Corryville sidewalk.

But, he says, he was rebuffed by a Cincinnati police officer and then arrested for bothering the officer, who was eating dinner at a Short Vine Street eatery.

"I've been obsessing about this since it happened," November said. "This guy lost his life right in front of me and an officer turned his back on him."

On Wednesday, police dropped the persistent disorderly conduct charge against him.

Baxter did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"Based on our investigation and discussions with the prosecutor, it was determined there was no probable cause to make an arrest," Cincinnati Police Lt. Kurt Byrd said.

November was in line at Buffalo Wild Wings on April 15 when a man ran into the restaurant and said, "My dude just got shot.''

The manager started to call 911, while Officer Michael Baxter - who was working an off-duty detail at the restaurant, in uniform - just sat there, November said.

November said he ran outside, saw the body on the sidewalk and then went back in to tell the officer.

"He was in there eating,'' November said shortly after his arrest. "He was, like, 'Shut up.' I just kept going up to him, like two or three times.''

The last time, November said, he asked for the officer's badge number. Baxter told him he'd have it on his arrest report and then arrested him, November said.

Baxter had his badge and his gun taken away the next day, officials said. He was transferred to the telephone crime reporting Unit to wait for results of an internal investigation.

The person who killed Mines has not been caught.


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