Saturday, September 09, 2000

Coroner: Impact with car killed policeman instantly

'No evidence' Crayon was run over, he says

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Cincinnati police officer killed last week survived being dragged, but died when his head hit another car's muffler.

        Officer Kevin Crayon was killed instantly, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Carl Parrott Jr. said Friday. The impact fractured his skull and caused brain injuries, he said.

        “There is no evidence that Officer Crayon was actually run over,” Dr. Parrott said.

        Officer Crayon, after firing a shot at 12-year-old driver Courtney Mathis, fell from the car to the pavement, he said. Though he suffered some burns as he slid on the street, he was not seriously injured until the impact with the muffler of a Cadillac stopped in the next lane.

        That driver, a man from Toledo, apparently did not realize what had happened. He drove after the boy because he thought the boy had hit his car, according to 911 calls, but ultimately left the scene. He came forward later after detectives pleaded for him and another motorist witness to do so.

        Other tests are continuing, Dr. Parrott said, including toxicology and ballistics. Both are routine, he said, and do not mean officials think alcohol or other drugs were involved or that other weapons were fired.

        Officer Crayon, 40, an officer of four years, died at about 12:45 a.m. Sept. 1 in a Mount Airy intersection. The incident started minutes before when he spotted Courtney in a United Dairy Farmers store and thought he looked too young to be driving. He approached Courtney outside and asked for his driver's license.

        Courtney disobeyed the officer's orders to stop, witnesses told police. When the boy started backing the car out of the parking lot, Officer Crayon reached inside with both hands, apparently trying to grab the keys. He ended up being dragged more than 800 feet down Colerain Avenue.

        Just before the officer fell off the car, he fired one shot into Courtney's chest. The boy survived long enough to get back to tell his family he'd been shot by a police officer. He died four hours later after what Dr. Parrott called extensive medical intervention, including surgery.

        Both the officer and the boy were buried Thursday.

        Preliminary results indicate that the officer's gun was angled down when he fired it into Courtney's left upper chest. That's obvious, the coroner said, because the bullet entered in that area but was removed from his lower right hip area, meaning the bullet crossed diagonally through his torso.

Complete coverage of Officer Crayon's death
- Coroner: Impact with car killed policeman instantly
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