Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Teen shot, officer hurt


Nine face charges in Hamilton 'major melee'

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - "It was a nightmare on Benninghofen Avenue," said Sgt. Thomas E. Kilgour.In the predawn hours Sunday, chaos erupted in the 2000-2100 blocks of that street in the city's Lindenwald section, where there were reportedly at least two celebrations involving alcohol.

A 14-year-old boy was shot, a police officer's arm was slammed in a door badly enough to keep him off duty for a week and nine people were arrested on a variety of charges: disorderly conduct, taunting a police dog, assault on a police officer, inciting to violence and resisting arrest.

"They had a major melee down there," said Acting Police Chief Steve Poulemanos.

The 14-year-old boy, Coty R. Retherford, was walking down the street on his way to a friend's house when he was shot in the chest, his mother, Nancy, 46, said. She disputes a police report that says her son and the shooting suspect had been in an argument before the shooting.

Ms. Retherford said it was miraculous that the projectile missed her son's heart, lungs and spine. He was treated at Middletown Regional Hospital and released. James Davidson, 52, of the 2000 block of Benninghofen, was arrested on charges of felonious assault and discharging a firearm in the city limits. He is to appear Wednesday in Municipal Court.

Lt. Greg Dininger was recovering at home after a suspect slammed a door on him as he tried to make an arrest, police said.

Although some of the events are unclear, Kilgour said a preliminary investigation showed Davidson was having a party, and someone threw a bottle through a window, but Davidson "thought someone was shooting his house," Kilgour said. That's when Davidson allegedly fired the shot that hit the teen in the chest.

The investigation was continuing Monday.

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




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