Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Slaying arrest draws praise

Shots fired on the Square

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The arrest Tuesday of a man for a homicide on Fountain Square drew praise from downtown supporters fighting to protect the city's safety image.

Homicide investigators arrested Anthony Baltimore, 33, of Springfield Township, and charged him with murder in the shooting death May 2 of Antonio Owens. The two men argued, witnesses said, before the shots rang out.

A bullet shattered the window of Rock Bottom Brewery, the restaurant on the square. Downtown was busy that weekend with the Flying Pig Marathon, so police had several witnesses.

Baltimore also was charged with receiving stolen property after investigators said they found a gun behind a store Baltimore owns. Court documents said Baltimore admitted buying the pistol at a gun and knife show.

David Ginsburg, president of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., immediately spread word of the arrest by e-mail. Two things, he said, contribute to improving the safety of downtown - good police work and quick communication about cases solved.

"This," he said, "was an example of both."

Owens, 26, of Millvale, died two days later.

He was the 29th homicide victim of the year, a number that has since increased to 30. That compares with 31 at this time last year, but investigators later determined that victim was not killed here and took her out of the 2002 count.


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