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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Police Round-Up: Separating Fact from Fiction in Recent Robbery/Assault Cases

Police Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

With a recent string of assaults and a dramatic twilight break-in involving a community business leader and a pair of juveniles, the FTPD have been keeping busy over the last two weeks. The rumor mill has been spinning, as well, as a result. Here is this week’s Police Round-up, to parse out fact from fiction surrounding these highly publicized cases:

Hosea Break-In / Arson Case?

Last week, FTM reported the story of a 3:30 a.m. break-in that occurred at the home of David Hosea  owner of Hosea Project Movers, on Walker Drive Tuesday morning. Hosea reported “bumping into” two juvenile intruders in the middle of the night. After calling police, the two juveniles — who had also stolen a Ford F150 pick-up truck earlier that evening in Covington — were arrested.

FTM also received a tip that these same two juveniles were also involved in an arson case in the days or weeks leading up to this incident, but FTPD Communications Officer Lt. Rich Whitford could not verify any connection between the two incidents.

The juveniles, one from Fort Thomas, one from Covington, are currently being held in the Campbell County Juvenile Detention Center in Newport, facing counts of robbery and receiving of stolen property.

String of Assaults / “Knockout” Game?

FTM broke the story of what was ultimately discovered to be four related incidents of assault over the course of the first weekend in November, involving three male juveniles who are currently facing robbery, attempted robbery, and assault charges. 

A number of FTM readers have wondered since whether these incidents were related to a national news story involving youth across the country engaging in a violent game called “Knockout.” 

The game, also known as “bombing,” “polar-bearing,” or “polar-bear bombing,” is an activity in which participants attack an unsuspecting victims (usually a coincidental passers-by) in an attempt to render them unconscious and rob them.

While there is much debate among police officials around the country over whether “Knockout” is truly a criminal trend or merely a disparate string of concurrent, similar crimes, the apparent connection between these reports and the incidents in Fort Thomas could not be ignored. 

While none of the local incidents involved knocking the victim unconscious, the attack-then-rob M.O. suggests a connection. 

That connection seems unlikely, however, according to Lt. Whitford. “We didn’t even hear about [Knockout] until after these assaults,” he said, “We believe these were just a few punks.”

Police will probably never know for sure, however, if Knockout was the juveniles’ inspiration. “Was it something that gave them an idea? We just don’t know,” Whitford explained.

* * *

In other FTPD news, several officers — including Lt. Rich Whitford and Chief Mike Daly — traveled to Richmond, KY last week as part of a mandatory continuing education initiative. All police officers in the state of Kentucky are required to devote 40 hours each year to continuing education and training. Richmond is home to Kentucky’s State Police Academy and Criminal Justice Academy. 

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