Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Man killed at bar's door

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

EVANSTON - Somebody ran in to Perkins Lounge Saturday night, yelling about a robbery outside.

A customer, Michael Royles, opened the door to check it out. In that instant, he took a bullet in the head. He fell dead on the bar's stoop.

"He looks to be an innocent bystander,'' said Lt. Kurt Byrd, spokesman for the Cincinnati Police Department. "It doesn't look like he was any part of whatever was going on outside."

Royles, 25, lived down the street on Clarion Avenue. He had no significant criminal record in Hamilton County, but was facing a disorderly conduct charge at the time of his death for allegedly fighting in the emergency room at Bethesda North Hospital in November.

The part of Clarion Avenue where the bar sits has long been a spot for complaints about drug dealing. Capt. Michael Cureton, commander of District 2, said Monday he would talk as soon as possible with his Violent Crime Squad to find out what undercover drug enforcement has been going on in the area lately.

Evanston is always a focus for the district, he said, because it is home to a federal Weed and Seed grant. That U.S. Department of Justice program is designed to pay overtime for officers to work in designated neighborhoods.

Police are looking for four black men last seen turning south onto Montgomery Road in a later model Chevrolet Blazer. The SUV is red or burgundy with a black luggage rack and a temporary tag in the back window.

Detectives ask anyone with information about the shooting or the Blazer to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.


E-mail jprendergast@enquirer.com

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