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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Foot Chase Ends in Arrest At Imperial Apartments

Multiple units from Fort Thomas and Southgate responded to an incident Monday night. Reader Submitted. 
Fort Thomas resident Peggy Leahy had her windows open to take advantage of a cool, summer night when she heard people running past her house around 7:30 p.m. on Monday night.

"Get on the ground, now!"

She didn't know what to do, so she dropped to her floor. "All I heard was commotion on the side of the house and very loud voices," she said. "I didn't know if there'd be bullets flying into my house or not."

The voice she heard resulted in part to a 90-minute foot chase of Cincinnati resident, Deonte Bell, who was eventually arrested and charged with fleeing and evading police (second degree) and probation violation. He also had existing warrants out of Hamilton County.

Bell had been living with his girlfriend at Imperial Apartments. Multiple units from Fort Thomas and Southgate responded to the incident. Paramedics were also on scene.

Leahy, who has lived in her house adjacent to the Imperial Apartments on S. Grand Avenue for 21 years, was one of many residents who came to city council in June to ask the city to address what they perceive as constant illicit behavior from the residents who live at 825 and 831 S. Grand Avenue. 

"My husband looked at me (the last time there was an incident)  and asked if I thought we should just move,"she said. "I'm starting to think that might be something we have to do."

According to Sgt. Chris Goshorn, the foot chase that ended in Bell's arrest started with a call from a resident at Southside Deli Mart. He said that a caller reported that two men approached him and according to the caller, insinuated that they had narcotics to sell.

"The caller gave the description of the two men and by the time we caught up to them, they were walking down the driveway to Imperial Apartments," said Goshorn. "We began questioning them and (Bell) went inside one of the apartments to get his identification."

That's when Goshorn, the commanding officer during the incident, said the chase began.

"He didn't return so the reporting officer went to check on him and found that he had jumped out of the rear window of the apartment."

Bell ran southbound on Grand Avenue and officers chased him for 90 minutes through the woods. He was finally apprehended in the rear of the Imperial Apartments after being tracked by Fort Thomas Police and is currently in custody at the Campbell County Detention Center.

The other man that was with Bell was interviewed on the scene and released.

The Imperial Apartments are currently for sale and pending new ownership.  The list price for both units, with 16 total apartments, is $784,000.

During the June 1 council meeting, Chief Mike Daly said he understood the frustrations of the residents and offered a solution if a new owner takes control of the property.  "If there is in deed an ownership change, we may be able to set up a forum with the new owner, residents and the police department to move forward in a positive way," he said. "We can set expectations, talk about things that have happened in the past and open a new line of communication."

Imperial Apartments resident, Sonia Knight, said she thinks that's a great idea. "Everyone wants the same thing. A peaceful place to live," she said. "We don't want to get caught up in this drama. I have a child at Highlands and he loves it there. We just want to go to work, take care of our kids and don't want any problems."


  1. (insert racist comment, here)

  2. I'll give you a great idea. The CITY should buy this train wreck and bring in the wrecking ball. This would be a GREAT location for ANYTHING except the currently intolerable situation.

  3. There's a really bad PERCEPTION of the RESIDENTS here!!! We are not responsible for tenants that rent here, that's the Landlords responsibility to do background checks on perspective renters'.. We have tried in vain to talk to her about our concerns.. Which have been unheeded... We are just misunderstood and that needs to change!!!!

  4. I hope that the new owner(s) can work out a better plan. Lower rent does not have to equal higher crime rates.

  5. The slumlord should be fined heavily for all the calls they get to that place.

  6. They need to check whose name is on the Lease and only allow that person to live there instead of having freeloaders move in and live there too. Get rid of the rift raft who is not legally living there.

  7. Time for the City to take action and buy the property !!

  8. What about the white house just around the corner on S Grand with the painted windows? Often has a strong urine smell coming from it, and should really be condemned.

  9. Guns and drugs. Two ingredients for a perfect peaceful community. Ridiculous. I wasn't aware that I bought a house in Over the Rhine.