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Police and local briefs

Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 5:52 pm

Police briefs

Man wounded in drive-by shooting

Fort Wayne Police are investigating a drive-by shooting on Milton Street that left a man with a gunshot wound to his arm Wednesday.

Three men were shot at as they sat in a parked car in the 1000 block of Milton about 2:30 p.m., they told police. A man identified as Anthony Parrish was hit in his left arm, which was bleeding heavily, according to a police report.

Parrish told officers a green car with a man hanging out drove west on Milton and that the shots came from the car as it went by them.

Liquor stores sell to minors in sting

Just two weeks after eight liquor stores were cited for selling booze to minors, six more were caught before the holiday weekend in another sting by the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the sheriff's Cadet Program, which gives people between 16 and 20 years old law enforcement experience, went into 16 liquor stores July 3. Six of the stores sold them alcohol, mainly large bottles of beer. The clerks at the stores were cited and given a date to appear in court.

On June 21 the same type of sting targeted 29 stores, with eight selling alcohol to minors. The stores caught in the most recent sting were Cap n' Cork, 5727 S. Anthony Blvd.; Cap n' Cork, 310 E. Rudisill Blvd.; Cap n'Cork, 110 Lincoln Highway E.; Woodburn Package Liquors, 22206 Main St. in Woodburn; S&V Liquors, 5701 Maplecrest Road; and Cedar Creek Beverage, 14436 State Road 1 in Leo.

Driver hits I-69 ditch in DeKalb

A 55-year-old Butler man either fell asleep or blacked out before the SUV he was driving went into a ditch off Interstate 69 in DeKalb County on Monday, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Lloyd S. Leathers complained of pain to his head after police arrived about 2 a.m. According to the sheriff's department, Leathers' truck was northbound when it went into the east ditch.

Court briefs

Case review sought

A Fort Wayne woman serving a long prison sentence for the killing of her 3-month-old son wants her case reviewed because, most notably, she claims she was under “drug-induced mental stress” when she agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Cynthia O. Soto, 24, pleaded guilty in 2004 to one count of battery with a 40-year sentence in connection with the death of Zekeil O'Neal Perez Soto, who choked to death on a diaper wipe in June 2003. Fort Wayne Police were called to Soto's home the night of the boy's death, finding him unresponsive and Soto distraught. A mere 24 hours later, Soto was arrested on a murder charge as the prime suspect in the killing, which was later ruled a homicide.

Guilty verdict in rape

A jury deliberated for only a few hours Wednesday before returning a guilty verdict against a Fort Wayne man accused of raping a 17-year-old girl. Russell D. Cox, 36, raped the girl as she slept on a couch at a friend's house in May 2007, investigators said.

He was formally charged in Allen Superior Court shortly after the incident. Cox showed little emotion as the verdict was read. He faces up to 50 years in prison and will be sentenced Aug. 4.

Man charged in December robbery

A Fort Wayne man is accused of threatening another man he met at a downtown bar with a gun, stealing his money and then punching him in the face, breaking the man's dentures into three pieces.

Gary Wayne Carpenter, 29, was formally charged with robbery by Allen County prosecutors Wednesday. The alleged incident took place in December.

According to court documents, Carpenter met his victim at the 412 Club at 412 E. Washington Blvd. He asked his victim for a ride home, and while in the car demanded money, claiming to have a gun.

The man was afraid Carpenter really did have a gun because of an earlier conversation during which Carpenter said he had been in jail. The man handed over his money, and Carpenter punched him in the face, according to court records.

Evidence against teen will stay

A teenager failed to get evidence implicating him in a pair of violent Brighton Meadows Apartment robberies suppressed Wednesday.

Austin Knight, now 18, was seen running with two others at the scene of the robberies in February 2007.

Knight claimed that a responding Fort Wayne Police officer had no probable cause to stop him or his accomplices and that he did not have his legal guardian with him when interviewed by detectives.

Judge John F. Surbeck ruled the officer had every right to stop Knight and the two others - both of whom pleaded guilty to their involvement in the robberies - because he was responding to shots fired and burglary calls. He also ruled the interview, during which Knight apparently admitted to a role in the robberies, was valid because his sister was with him. Both she and Knight at the time claimed she was his guardian.

Fire brief

Fire damages vacant house

The attic of a vacant home in southeast Fort Wayne was heavily damaged by smoke and fire this morning. The cause of the blaze at 2305 Marcy Lane, just south of McKinnie Avenue, is under investigation. The fire took 15 minutes to bring under control.

Local briefs

Fall may have caused death

A Fort Wayne man may have died from a fall off a small wooden ladder at his home Wednesday.

Fort Wayne Police were called to 167 E. Leith St. to find a man in his 90s unconscious, according to a police report. Don Crone was found in the garage, where he was lying face-up atop clutter 3 feet high, according to the report. It appeared as if he had been climbing or standing on the ladder when he fell backward. There was no sign of foul play.

Taxation change is on county's goal list

Curbing “taxation without representation” may be one of Allen County officials' legislative goals for 2009.

Although the county's proposals for the Legislature's next session have not been established, Commissioner Bill Brown said Wednesday there appears to be agreement that the procedure for increasing the county option income tax - at least in Allen County - should be revised.

Because the city's population is greater than the rest of the county's, City Council could increase the tax for the entire county - even in areas outside the city in which residents cannot vote for City Council members. If the Legislature limited an elected body's ability to increase the tax to its jurisdiction, it might help limit the size of the increase.

-From staff reports