Friday, October 17, 2003

Police look for girl, 14, as Short Vine attacker

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CORRYVILLE - People along the Short Vine strip complained for months about unprovoked assaults by teenagers, often followed by racial slurs , that business owners say make people afraid to come here.

Chief among the culprits, police say, is a 14-year-old girl.

"She just walks up to people in the middle of the street and socks them in the eye," said Officer Alex Hasse, the neighborhood officer for Corryville. "She's done this numerous times."

People know her by name and where she hangs out. They describe how she wears her hair - up in a ponytail tie called a Scrunci. They know who she walks around with.

She's wanted now on six charges. The most serious: felonious assault, for an Oct. 10 incident in which Hasse said she punched a woman in the eye as the woman left Sudsy Malone's.

Hasse hopes to arrest the 14-year-old soon. He patrols the neighborhood looking for her, said Victoria Lore, who owns Acme Body Piercing. Lore's surveillance camera didn't catch the Oct. 10 assault, but it caught some aftermath she found really disturbing - the girl and her friends re-enacting the attack and laughing.

The girl, she said, has apparently gotten so comfortable that "she didn't even feel the need to leave the street afterward."

Councilman Jim Tarbell knows the girl, too. He said she was on the scene in June, also in Corryville, when he got punched while trying to break up an attack.

Lore worries that someone who's had enough just might punch her back, and then get in trouble for it.

"On one hand, she's just a girl,'' Lore said. "You just don't expect to be assaulted by someone wearing a Scrunci."


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