Ohio News Briefs


FBI: Gang members arrested in phone thefts from 9 states

CLEVELAND (AP) — The FBI says agents and Cleveland police officers have arrested three members of the Ohio-based Heartless Felons street gang in connection with the theft of $500,000 in phones and electronic devices from nine states.

An FBI spokeswoman in Cleveland says the gang members were arrested early Wednesday and that four incarcerated gang members involved in the thefts have been transferred to federal custody. Another suspect is being sought.

The FBI says seven men and one woman broke into retail stores and mall kiosks 18 times between April and July 2016, would bring the devices back to Cleveland and then sell them to gas stations and phone stores.

An FBI affidavit says the thefts occurred in Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Wisconsin, New York and Maryland.

Cops: Motive for anti-Arab graffiti was personal, not ethnic

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio suspect told them he spray-painted a swastika and message cursing Arabs on a Lebanese family’s garage door not because of their ethnicity but because he was angry over a perceived slight.

Twenty-eight-year-old Osama Nazzal, of Toledo, is scheduled for a court appearance March 1 for misdemeanor criminal damaging. WTVG-TV reports Sylvania Township police have decided he won’t be charged with a hate crime.

Court records don’t indicate whether Nazzal has an attorney.

Police say he told them he felt threatened after the homeowner’s daughter snickered at him in a college library, so he researched her address and spray-painted the graffiti.

The Blade newspaper reports the woman later told police Nazzal stared at her and followed her at the library.

Ohio bill would allow longer sentence for disfiguring victim

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The case of a woman set on fire by her ex-boyfriend has prompted an Ohio lawmaker’s proposal to allow longer sentences for crimes that permanently maim or disfigure victims.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the bill introduced this week could make a sliding-scale specification available in assault cases involving serious physical harm to victims.

Republican Rep. Jim Hughes, of Upper Arlington, says Judy Malinowski’s case illustrates the need for that change.

The man accused of dousing Malinowski with gasoline in August 2015 was sentenced to the maximum, 11 years in prison. Malinowski remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after dozens of surgeries.

Prosecutors say they’ll pursue a homicide case against the man if Malinowski dies. A judge allowed her to record a deposition that could be used at such a trial.

Female college students report naked man entering homes

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio are searching for a naked man who reportedly broke into the homes of at least three female students at the University of Dayton during early morning hours.

Officials say a woman reported that she woke up to a naked man standing in her bedroom around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday. The woman told officers the man fled after she yelled at him. He entered through an unsecured door.

Two similar incidents were reported around 3:15 a.m. and 4 a.m. University police say each of the break-ins apparently happened through unsecured windows and doors. The suspect is described as a man with brown curly hair in his mid-20s.

University of Dayton President Eric Spina says students have been encouraged to lock their doors and windows.

Police in Ohio suburb investigate baby’s death

TROTWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Police in a Dayton suburb are investigating the death of an infant found in a trash bin.

Trotwood police say the baby died in early February and the body was found discarded in a residential trash container in the southwest Ohio city. They say the Montgomery County coroner’s office has performed an autopsy, but the cause of the death is still pending.

Police say the infant’s mother has said the baby was stillborn. Police say they will decide on charges after the cause of death is determined.

Cuyahoga County Jail inmate suffers fatal medical emergency

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a 37-year-old Cleveland woman being held at the Cuyahoga County Jail on drug dealing charges has died after suffering a “medical emergency.”

County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan says Nadine Stanley was initially treated at the jail before she was taken to Lutheran Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on Wednesday.

It’s unclear whether anything was found inside Stanley’s cell that would indicate why she became ill. Madigan declined to offer further information regarding the death.

Court records say Stanley was arrested after a Jan. 3 raid at her home turned up heroin, cocaine and marijuana along with digital scales and drug packaging materials.

Stanley had two prior drug-related convictions.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner will determine Stanley’s cause of death.

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