Sunday, March 14, 2004

Public safety briefs

Three injured when car, mail truck crash

MOUNT AUBURN - Three people were injured, two critically, in a two-vehicle crash early Saturday at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Eden Park Drive.

The crash occurred about 6:10 a.m. when Peter Stebelton, 23, of Sylvania, Ohio, was driving eastbound on Dorchester Avenue and disregarded a red light at Reading Road before striking a northbound U.S. Postal Service truck, police said.

Stebelton and a passenger in his vehicle, Thomas Grady, 24, of Dayton, Ohio, were transported to University Hospital, where they both were in critical condition Saturday night, police said. Another passenger in Stebelton's vehicle, Dustin Niehaus, 21, of Loveland, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The driver of the postal service truck, Robert Presser, 52, of Verona, Ky., was not injured.

Police said failure to obey a traffic signal and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash.

The mail in the truck was not damaged. It was off-loaded onto another truck.

Body found near railroad crossing

HAMILTON - Police are investigating the cause of death of a person found Saturday afternoon close to a railroad crossing, near the intersection of Laurel and Zimmerman avenues.

Officers responded to a call reporting a deceased person about 12:55 p.m. and found the body, police said. The identity of the victim is unknown, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call (513) 868-5811, ext. 2007.

2 flee with soda when store robbery fails

ANDERSON TWP. - Police are looking for two men who they say robbed the Exxon Food Mart, 3051 Mount Carmel-Tabasco Road, of two cans of soda at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities said the men entered the store and demanded money. The clerk refused, at which point the suspects took two bottles of Mountain Dew and fled.

Clerk Ankit Patel, who has worked there for 11/2 years, said one suspect said he had a gun but never showed it.

"I said, 'Show me the gun, and I will give you the money,' " Patel said. "When they saw me hit the panic button, they fled."

The first suspect is described as a white male, in his early 20s, 5-foot-6, 210 pounds, with reddish-brown hair. He has a beard and a mustache.

The second suspect is described as a white male in his early 20s, 5-foot-4, about 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray, hooded sweat shirt and a ball cap.

The suspects are believed to have left in a brown vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Patrol at 825-1500 or Crime Stoppers, at 352-3040.

Additional units to patrol streets

Additional police units will be on patrol in Cincinnati this week to enforce laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Cincinnati Police Department, in cooperation the Hamilton County DUI Task Force and Ohio Department of Public Safety, will conduct the extra patrols today through Saturday .

The extra patrols began earlier today as St. Patrick Day revelers made their way home from holiday celebrations.

In a message directed to St. Patrick Day revelers, Cincinnati police advised that "you can save a trip to the 'paddy wagon' and save a lot of 'green' by ensuring that you do not operate a vehicle after imbibing too much alcohol."

Dye may mark man who robbed bank

ERLANGER - A man armed with a gun robbed the Advantage Bank on Dixie Highway Saturday morning.

The suspect entered the bank at 3522 Dixie Highway at 11:30 a.m., displayed a handgun and demanded money, police said. A dye pack included with the cash exploded a short time after the suspect left the bank, and the robber may be covered in red dye.

The suspect is described as a clean-shaven white male, 35 to 45 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a stocky build and a full head of black hair. He was wearing sunglasses and a plain, black hooded zip-up sweat shirt.

Anyone with information is asked call the Erlanger Police department, (859) 727-2424.

Police arrest suspect in gas station holdup

FLORENCE - A robbery suspect, who apparently decided to rob a Mount Zion Road gas station on the spur of the moment, was apprehended shortly after the incident early Saturday.

The suspect entered the Sunoco gas station at 430 Mount Zion Road in Boone County near Florence at 6:30 a.m., the Boone County Sheriff's Office said. With his hand inside a paper bag indicating he had a weapon, the man demanded money from the clerk and fled with an undetermined about of cash.

The clerk called the sheriff office and Deputy Jerry Mitchum spotted the suspect's vehicle about three miles from the scene at a truck stop at Interstate 75 and Ky. 18.

Mitchum stopped the car a short distance from the truck stop and arrested Jason V. Merkhofer, 20, of Hooven, Ohio, and charged him with first degree robbery, the sheriff's office said.

WLWT canceling Springer Friday

Jerry Springer's TV show will be leaving WLWT-TV (Channel 5) five months sooner than expected because of corporate concerns regarding the show's content.

Channel 5 announced last fall that the show's contract would not be renewed, but in light of new FCC decency concerns, Hearst-Argyle, Channel 5's corporate owner, will dump the show after Friday's show.

WSTR-TV (Channel 64) had picked up the show to begin airing in the fall. The decision means Channel 64 will begin airing the show at 10 a.m. March 22.

Springer's show will be replaced with back-to-back episodes of Judge Joe Brown. In August, the new Jane Pauley Show will take over the time slot.

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