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Monday, 23 April 2012

The Trotwood bar near where a Dayton man and a Dayton undercover police officer were seriously wounded last weekend has been the scene of nearly 30 reported thefts, assaults, fights

04:21 | , ,

The Trotwood bar near where a Dayton man and a Dayton undercover police officer were seriously wounded last weekend has been the scene of nearly 30 reported thefts, assaults, fights and other criminal acts since January 2010. Authorities suspect those events, which led to 16 arrests, are an indication of gang action. “The activity we’ve seen at Leo’s II is consistent with the activities gangs are involved with: weapons, shootings, parking lot fights,” Trotwood police Capt. John Porter said. “The guns and narcotics in and around that bar are consistent with gang activity.” The son of the bar’s owner disagreed with Porter and said Leo’s II is not a particularly dangerous place. Still, a search of state and local records by the Dayton Daily News found Trotwood police have visited the bar 269 times between Jan. 1, 2010, and April 14 of this year, mostly for security checks. Included in those calls were 12 calls on thefts, 11 on assaults, nine on fights, five on shots fired and one on a stabbing. Sixteen people were arrested over the same time period. Of those 269 calls, 119 were bar checks where an officer walks through the establishment to ensure that everything is in order. By comparison, Huber Heights police had 72 calls for service from the Heat Nightclub between Nov. 20, 2010 and Feb. 29. Leo’s II had 117 such calls over the same period. Huber Heights officials have taken action to have that bar’s liquor license revoked. The Trotwood City Council has called a special meeting Tuesday to discuss a resolution objecting to the renewal of Leo’s II liquor license. “You have your places you would call your problem children, hotbeds for violent activities, and Leo’s II is on that list,” FBI Supervisory Agent Tim Ferguson said in explaining the presence of three to four federally deputized local undercover detectives at the bar as part of an anti-gang task force. On nights where officers note a particularly large crowd, the department will station as many as four patrol cars — the entire night shift — outside the bar at the 2:30 a.m. closing time as a deterrent. Last Saturday, the department had a fifth marked car tasked to the Safe Streets Task Force operation, as did Dayton, Porter said. Traffic stops by the marked police vehicles working with the task force last Saturday yielded five handguns and one man detained, according to the FBI’s Ferguson. The bar’s listed owner, Patricia Douglas, 59, of Dayton, said the bar is not a gang hangout as far as she knows. “No, I don’t know anything about any gangs. Some of these young boys consider themselves a gang. There are drug problems in Dayton, Ohio, period. You can’t do a background check on everyone who comes in a club,” she said. She also said the police figures overstate the bar as a problem since many of the police visits were officers checking the bar. Saturday, April 14 Adrion Hawes, 40, of Dayton, Douglas’ son, said he was working the door the night of the shooting along with private security. Aside from a fist fight that preceded the shooting by perhaps 20 minutes, he said there were no problems inside the bar that night. Police didn’t enter the bar during the fight, he added. He said a private party was under way and 130 were in attendance. The occasion was the birthday of a young man who was a homicide victim last year. Hawes said a relative, who he declined to name, reserved and rented the club for the event. “This wasn’t our regular crowd,” Hawes said. “It was supposed to be a ‘Rest in Peace’ party.” The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. when Trotwood officers, responding to a reported disturbance, arrived to find the Leo’s II bar parking lot in chaos and a man holding a handgun crouched between two cars near the bar’s entrance. A short foot chase in the dark ensued. The undercover Dayton detective and an uniformed Trotwood sergeant fired shots at the suspect when he confronted the pair, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. The sheriff’s office is handling the investigation at the request of the Trotwood Police Department. The suspect, Deontay Cochran, 21, was shot in the left bicep, Plummer said last week at a news conference that included the FBI, and Trotwood and Dayton police. Cochran was not the target of the surveillance, according to Ferguson. The Dayton detective, a 20-year veteran, was shot in the upper torso. Officials decline to say whether the detective was shot in the chest or the back. The detective was rushed by police cruiser to Miami Valley Hospital with his son — one of the first Dayton officers on the scene after an “officer down” call was issued — and colleagues doing first aid. Cochran was taken to the same hospital. Both were initially listed in serious condition. The detective has since been taken out of the intensive care unit. Cochran is expected to be released. Police recovered a semiautomatic pistol at the scene with an extended 30-round magazine. Plummer said he was awaiting ballistics evidence to determine whether the suspect fired his weapon, how many shots were fired and who shot whom.

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