Police

Safe belts help protect drivers, passengers in the event of a crash

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2018, the same number as this time last year. During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of your vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives. Though some believe airbags can replace seat belts in the event of an accident, the force of being thrown into a rapidly opening airbag could injure or even kill. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to maximize safety efforts. Your pelvis and rib cage are more able to withstand crash force than other parts of your body, which is why it’s important to secure your seat belt over these areas. If impact should occur, these areas will be able to take more of the pressure from seat belts and airbags to protect the rest of the body. There are several steps you can take to get the best seat belt fit for your safety. When buying a car, test the belts provided to see if they are a good fit for you. You can talk to your car dealer about options for seat belt adjusters and extenders if necessary. For those with older vehicles, your seat belt may be outdated for current standards. Check with the vehicle manufacturer to determine the best option for you.


BG police & fire train on new strategy for school shootings

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Last week while Bowling Green schools were closed for spring break, teams of police officers clad in protective vests and carrying AR-15 air soft training rifles trained in their hallways. By this week, all of the city’s police officers will have gone through rescue task force training. The point of the practice is to prepare police and EMS to work together to get medical help to victims of mass shootings as quickly as possible. “Time is so critical,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. On Friday afternoon, another team of police officers wrapped up their active shooter drill at Crim Elementary School. While they train annually for active shooters, this was the first time that police and firefighters/paramedics trained together. Police trained to go into the “hot zone,” to confront the shooters, and create an area in the nearby “warm zone” for EMS to take care of those injured. “Our entire role in all of this is to train the police officers to make a safe area,” so medical treatment doesn’t have to wait until the entire scene is cleared of risks, Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said. “Our paramedics are escorted in to treat in the building, and not wait for patients to be brought out to us,” Moorman said. “It’s getting our people into the building faster than normal.” The rescue task force responses to mass shootings do not require EMS personnel to carry firearms. “We are the firefighters’ protection for tactical emergency medical services,” explained Bowling Green Police Deputy Chief Justin White as he stood outside Crim Elementary. The rescue task force training included every police officer and firefighter. “All our officers are getting trained this week,” Hetrick said. “Every single one will go through it,” Moorman said. Each of the training sessions was held in Crim Elementary, though Hetrick said his officers are familiar with every school building in the city. The rescue task force training had been months in the making – long before the shooting in Parkland, Florida. But the timing proved perfect with concerns heightened after 17 students and teachers were killed by the Parkland shooter. “Anxiety is through the roof,” Hetrick said in the days following the Florida school shooting. Immediately after the Parkland school shooting, Bowling Green Police Division increased its foot patrols near local schools and drive-throughs of school parking lots. “We have stepped that up,” Hetrick said during the recent school safety forum held by the school district at the county library. Though the police division does not have enough officers to station them at the schools, Hetrick said the response time averages one to two minutes. The officers are well-equipped, train for active shooter responses, and are familiar with all the school buildings, Hetrick said. Prior to the Columbine school shooting, many police departments waited outside schools during active shooting incidents. Bowling Green police have a policy of “solo engagement,” meaning the first officer on the scene goes in immediately, by himself if necessary. “This is on our minds all the time – what we train for and what we’re equipped for,” Hetrick said. Every officer is equipped with an AR-15 rifle, assault vests and medical kids. “You enter, you find the threat, you neutralize the threat,” the…


BG gathers to discuss how to keep schools safe

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Teachers pleaded to be armed with adequate resources – not guns. Parents asked about mental health care for children. And others debated the value of arming a school for violence, or preventing it before it occurs. Though the last school shooting was far away in Parkland, Florida, the ripple effect is being felt at schools across the nation. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has held eight expulsion hearings in the past week for students who have made threats of violence at school. Some threats were posted on social media, some blurted out in the school hallways, one uttered in anger while playing an Xbox game. “We have to take these seriously,” Scruci said. “I’ve got 3,100 kids I’m responsible for, and close to 400 staff I’m responsible for.” The school safety public forum Thursday evening was held as an open conversation with the community in the atrium of the Wood County District Public Library. The room was packed. The topic was touchy. But the forum was peaceful. “This type of event could happen anywhere,” Scruci said, talking about how schools and churches used to be safe places in the community. To make sure Bowling Green schools are as safe as possible, Scruci said he has been working closely with Police Chief Tony Hetrick and Fire Chief Bill Moorman, both who attended the forum. The district has taken steps such as limiting the times the schools are unlocked, reducing the number of open entrances at the beginning and end of the school day, changing the procedures for evacuating for a non-scheduled fire alarm, reviewing of lockdown plans with staff, talking with evening users of the schools buildings about not blocking open doors, promoting the anonymous tip line, and adopting a zero tolerance policy to threats. Scruci said he has walked the school buildings with emergency responders and State Senator Randy Gardner. “It’s not possible to make schools 100 percent safe,” Scruci said. “They were built at times we didn’t have to worry about these events.” “We all share the same concerns – how to make our schools a safe place,” he said. Hetrick said he has been having daily conversations with Scruci recently about school safety issues. The police have increased their presence at the schools with foot patrols and drive-throughs of the parking lots. “We have stepped that up,” he said. Though the police division does not have enough officers to station one at each school, Hetrick said DARE Officer Robin Short is committed to the schools. “She’s really our eyes and ears for problems,” he said. To help ease the minds of parents, the police chief said city officers have an average response time of one or two minutes. They are well equipped, train for active shooter responses, and are familiar with all the school buildings. Unlike police responses back at the time of the Columbine school shooting, Bowling Green police officers are trained for “solo engagement,” which means the first officer on the scene goes in immediately by himself. “This is on our minds all the time,” Hetrick said. “This is what we train for. This is what we’re equipped for.” The police are also trained in the rescue task force concept, which means fire department personnel enter the building…


Drunk man shot after entering wrong home is indicted

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bowling Green Police Division gets multiple calls a year about drunk college students wandering into the wrong homes after a night of drinking. Some are found sleeping on couches by the homeowners the next morning. But in this case, the homeowner was frightened in the middle of the night, was armed with a handgun, and shot the intoxicated intruder three times. Last year, at 1:05 in the morning on Dec. 22, police received a call from a resident in the 100 block of Liberty Street, Bowling Green, who reported two men had broken into his home and he shot to defend himself. Last week, a Wood County Grand Jury indicted Ty Krill, 21, of 610 N. Main St., Bowling Green, for trespassing in a habitation. The other man accompanying Krill on that night, Wade Sutton, 22, of Waterville, was not indicted. According to the police reports, the Liberty Street resident heard a noise at his front door, then at a side window. He grabbed a flashlight and his 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and headed downstairs.  He was headed for his phone in the den, since he only has two land-lines in his home. There, in the living room, he encountered Krill. There are conflicting stories in the police reports about the words exchanged, but the homeowner said the intruder came running at him. The homeowner shot Krill twice in the arm, then once in the lower back when Krill turned. He said he did not shoot at Sutton, who was standing with his arms raised. Both intruders ran from the home. When police arrived, they found blood on the steps by the back door, on the sidewalk and on the lawn. Officers followed the blood trail toward the rear of the property, over a fence and on toward West Evers Street. Police found Krill walking eastbound in the 100 block of West Evers Street near North Main Street. According to the police reports, Krill appeared to be highly intoxicated and his clothes were covered with “a large amount of blood.” Bowling Green Fire Division’s EMS responded and transported Krill to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Hospital medical staff said Krill had been shot three times, with one round striking him in the right elbow area, one hitting in the right arm and passing through his body, and one striking him in the lower left back, above his buttocks. Hospital staff confirmed that Krill was “extremely intoxicated.” As police were piecing together the events that led up to the shooting, they spoke with Krill’s parents and friends, who said Krill started his evening with friends at a house two doors down from the Liberty Street home he walked into around 1 a.m. In reviewing the online photograph of the home of Krill’s friends on Liberty Street, police found it to be “substantially similar in appearance” to the home two doors down that was invaded. The day after the incident, police received a call from a local attorney who said he was representing the unidentified man who was with Krill when he was shot. A couple days later, Wade Sutton and his attorney came to the police station. Sutton…


BG board hears push for arming teachers in schools

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Thoughts are prayers aren’t keeping schools safe – so some citizens suggested Bowling Green City Schools look at arming teachers and posting more police. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Paul Tyson looked out into the audience at teachers who would die for their students. “Why wouldn’t you be ready to fight for them,” he asked. Earlier in the meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci asked those present to take a moment of silence for the victims at Parkland, Florida. “Last week, we were reminded of our vulnerability in the face of evil,” he said. Scruci talked about the need for more mental health resources and stricter gun laws. He mentioned the need for a tip line allowing anonymous reporting of suspected threats. He talked about the “Boot” system which allows every Bowling Green classroom to be locked to intruders. While some schools would have pile up items in front of doors, the “Boot” can secure doors in a matter of seconds, he said. “The reality is every school is vulnerable,” Scruci said. “Like everyone else, I get up in the morning and pray that it doesn’t happen here.” Tyson, an off-duty Bowling Green police officer, suggested that the district needs an “armed presence” through part-time police or military, and training of teachers so they could carry firearms in school. Then, the district should put a big sign out front of the schools stating that the building is defended by firearms – discouraging any potential shooters, he said. “We will take your comments under advisement,” School Board President Jill Carr said. “I do believe you have plenty of people in town who will help you with this,” Tyson said. Jaime Baranski agreed with Tyson, saying shooters won’t attempt violence at a school that is well defended. “They’re there to shoot fish in a barrel,” Baranski said. “If there’s a patrol car outside, they’re not going to come to this building.” If the district can’t afford armed protection, Baranski suggested that parents could donate to help secure police assistance or someone like himself with a concealed carry permit. As far as threats on social media, Baranski said tougher consequences are the answer. “You threaten a school, it’s jail time – automatic six years.” Richard Chamberlain said when he went to the high school in 1977, guns weren’t an issue. “My pickup used to sit out there with a shotgun in the back. It’s difficult for me to think that the gun is, or ever was, the issue.” Chamberlain called it “disheartening” that the district wouldn’t allow teachers to be armed, and instead send them out to be “slaughtered.” But not everyone believes more guns are the solution to school violence. “More guns mean more injuries,” Jorge Chavez said, adding that there is no evidence that armed officers and metal detectors prevent school violence. Those steps would be a reaction to “shock and fear” of recent school attacks, and would result in increasing the fear of students, he said. In response to the claim that school shootings don’t occur in urban schools that have officers and metal detectors, Chavez said that those shootings just don’t get the same media coverage. “I want us to make smart choices,” he said. Aaron Sayer agreed. “We need to do something….


Firefighter and wife save man from jumping off overpass

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   An off-duty Bowling Green firefighter and his wife stopped a man from jumping off the East Wooster overpass at Interstate 75 late Saturday night. Steve and Dawn Tyda were on their way home from Columbus on Saturday, when they pulled off I-75 around 11 p.m. They saw a man standing on the overpass, facing the highway. Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said Steve Tyda turned around and went back to the overpass and pulled up next to the man. Dawn Tyda asked the man if he was OK. “He said, ‘I’ll be OK in about four seconds when I jump,’” Moorman said. Dawn Tyda offered to talk or pray with the man, who turned back to the highway and leaned over the side. Meanwhile Steve Tyda came up behind the man and tackled him to keep him from going over onto I-75 below. Tyda held him down until police arrived. The man, a 49 year old Bowling Green resident, was taken to Wood County Hospital where he was checked out by Behavioral Connections. He was transported to Flower Hospital in Sylvania for evaluation. The man told police he had recently been suicidal. In the previous few days, he said he had attempted to hang himself, tried to sleep with a bag on his head, drank rust remover and stabbed himself in the stomach with a small paring knife. “If he went through with it and jumped, it would affect so many people,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. Last year a man did jump off the I-75 overpass, resulting in several vehicles hitting him on the roadway. “It was an absolutely horrific sight,” said Moorman, who helped distraught drivers who couldn’t avoid hitting the man who jumped. Moorman praised Tyda for helping the suicidal man on Saturday night. “It was somewhat heroic, with complete disregard for his own safety,” Moorman said.


BG district scrutinizes safety after Parkland shooting

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In response to growing violence at schools across the nation, Bowling Green City Schools had each classroom equipped with a “Boot” last year. The “Boot” was created by Rob Couturier, of Michigan, after his daughter was the victim of a violent attack. The “Boot,” is a rectangular-shaped plate of quarter-inch thick industrial steel. Secured by two steel pegs, the plate can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure and keep doors closed to intruders. The safety mechanism has been installed in more than 100 public schools and 18 private schools in the region. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci rests a little easier knowing every classroom in the district has a mechanism to keep an intruder out and keep the students safe inside. However, Scruci also realizes nothing is completely safe. “Anytime we’re talking about student safety, there is always more you can do,” Scruci said Thursday, the day after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed at 17. “We want to make sure kids are safe. But we can’t with 100 percent certainty,” he said. “We don’t have the resources to make them as safe as possible.” But in the case of the Parkland shooter, who reportedly went door to door to classrooms, the “Boot” would keep him from entering rooms. “That’s the beauty of the ‘Boot.’ He’s not getting in there,” Scruci said. In addition to the “Boot” on classroom doors, the Bowling Green school district also relies on students and staff to point out troubled students, hold training drills at the school, and work with local police on responding to threats. By law, every school must hold a lockdown drill at least once a year. “We just had a meeting and discussed that we need to do it more often,” Scruci said. “We don’t ever want to think this is a new normal, but we want people to be prepared.” Of course, the school district can’t prepare for every possibility, he said. The accused shooter in the Florida school pulled a fire alarm first, reportedly to have easier access to students leaving their classrooms. “Regardless of how many times we practice, you don’t know what to prepare for,” Scruci said. “We could prepare for 100 scenarios, and there would still be another 100 other scenarios we didn’t think of.” The school staff is also trained in ALICE, which urges people to leave the building safely if they can. If they can’t escape, they are trained fight back with anything available. At the suggestion of Couturier, the district’s hallways and classrooms have improved signage so police can more easily identify areas of the schools. Police are aware of the lockdown drills and have floor plans for all the schools. “We can’t say enough about partnering with our police department,” Scruci said. The police and sheriff departments also have one “Boot” installed at each office so they can train on it. Special keys coded for each building allow law enforcement to access rooms barricaded by the “Boots.” At least 60 percent of the “Boots” were purchased with donations from the community. Couturier has also said if the district renovates or constructs new buildings, his company will reinstall the equipment at no charge. Each school also requires visitors to be buzzed in at the…


BGSU named one of top 100 safest campuses

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University is ranked 32nd on the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America, and one of only two universities in Ohio ranked in the top 100. The ranking was created using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. The top-ranked colleges boast safe campuses with little or no crime and low overall crime rates (off campus). “We are pleased to again be recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country,” Interim President Rodney Rogers said. “This is a great reflection of the living and learning environment at BGSU and the quality of life in the city of Bowling Green.” Individuals can support this effort by being aware of their surroundings, by reporting criminal or suspicious activity and by getting involved in University-sponsored crime prevention programs. The BGSU Department of Public Safety provides around-the-clock protection and sponsors many crime prevention programs. The Campus Escort Service, University Shuttle, sophisticated outdoor lighting system and outdoor emergency telephones combine to provide a campus environment that feels safe and secure. For information about crime prevention, policies for reporting crime on campus and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period, see the BGSU Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. Four-year institutions with enrollment of 10,000 or more were accessed to compile the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America. Alarms.org created the list after finding that campus safety contributed to anxiety about college.


BG eyes 2018 goals – neighborhoods, food trucks, downtown cameras and more

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neighborhood revitalization, food trucks, more cameras in the downtown bar district, and code enforcement by police made the list of 2018 goals for Bowling Green city officials. City department heads listed their top priorities for the year during a work session held Saturday morning for city council. Mayor Dick Edwards set the tone. “This is going to be a very ambitious year, and if we think otherwise, we’ll get smacked right in the face with it,” Edwards said. The mayor repeated some of the projects he mentioned at last week’s council meeting, including progress on Wooster Green, East Wooster corridor, and new City Park building. Unlike those highly visible projects, the city will also be updating its charter – making sure the effort is “citizen-driven,” Edwards said. And efforts will be made to define the city’s goal of being a “welcoming community.” The mayor talked about the city’s goal to become more diversified industrially. Sue Clark, the city’s economic development director, has reported increased interest in the city. “The phone has been ringing off the wall,” Edwards said. “It spells a very promising picture for 2018,” Edwards said, noting the importance of economic growth to city services. Edwards revisited a topic that consumed much of last year – the Nexus pipeline.  “That was gut-wrenching at times for all of us. That’s going to be a special challenge for us in 2018,” he said. City officials still have not been given a timeline for the pipeline construction. Concerns continue, the mayor said, about state legislation that could have negative effects on municipalities. Edwards has talked with State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green, about the state’s plans for 2018. “They keep talking in very positive terms about supporting local government,” Edwards said about state officials. “All the words coming out of Columbus are encouraging, but the proof is in the pudding.” The mayor also took time to try resurrecting the city historic preservation effort that was started and then dropped. “I would at least like to get something before you that you can address,” he said to council. Cities like Toledo are taking advantage of tax credits to revitalize downtown historic areas. Bowling Green could do the same, Edwards said. “Other communities have really been benefitting from this,” he said. Each of the city’s department heads also listed some goals for 2018. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said she would like to work on updating city regulations for permitting peddlers, solicitors and itinerant merchants. That includes regulations for food trucks. “We get many, many calls about this,” Tretter said. The current rules require 150 feet of right-of-way between food trucks and the roadway. “This ordinance has not been updated in a very long time.” Finance Director Brian Bushong will be working on bond rating and issuance for the I-75 interchange roundabouts and the City Park building. Bushong said the city will likely have to borrow money again in 2019, since efforts will be made to stay under $10 million in 2018. The city’s finance office is also working to replace its paper timecards for hourly employees. The new “Executime” process will eliminate paper and streamline the process, Bushong said. Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley talked about the new…


Safe Communities reports 4th quarter road fatalities

Wood County Safe Communities has announced that the Fourth Quarter Fatal Data Review Committee met on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The following fatal crashes from the Fourth Quarter of 2017 were reviewed: • Route 6 between Wayne and Pemberville Roads • River Rd. Between Bates and White Roads • Route 6 at Rudolph Road. In all five people died in the crashes, including two sisters and their mother in the Route 6 and Rudolph Road accident. The following countermeasures were established: • Obey all Traffic Laws • Do not drive Left of Center • Obey all Traffic Control Devices For More Information: • Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481 • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu


Helicopter crash kills two

Two men died this morning at 11:41 when the helicopter they were in crashed in Troy Township. A witness reported the crash to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. The helicopter went down into field near Pemberville and Truman roads about a half mile from either road. According to Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn the men were contractors for Toledo Edison who were inspecting power lines. No cause of the crash has yet been determined, and the sheriff refused to speculate whether the weather was a factor. The crash occurred as snow showers covered the area. The names of the deceased have not been released pending notification of next of kin. Inspectors from the National Transportation Safety Board will inspect the scene tomorrow morning. Wasylyshyn said that sheriff’s deputies will remain on the scene until the inspectors arrive, and the wreckage is removed.      


BG man linked to crimes by stolen panties and DNA on pizza crust

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Hundreds of bras and panties, DNA from a pizza crust and intricate handwritten notes have allegedly helped link a Bowling Green man to at least seven burglaries committed in the city over the last five years. Bradley Feasel, 33, of 236 S. Grove St., was indicted last week on 11 counts of burglary and one count of breaking and entering. Police believe there will likely be more charges as they continue to go through the evidence found at Feasel’s home. “It’s pretty alarming,” said Bowling Green Police Major Justin White. Police reportedly found a folder of handwritten notes at Feasel’s home, listing dates with names of females. Under the names were notes indicating the items that were taken and the method of entry into the residences. In one note under “Manville House,” it reportedly reads “all rooms masturbated.” At a home on Byall Avenue, a bullet point mentioned “red panties.” In some cases, women were sleeping at the homes when Feasel allegedly entered. On a few incidents when Feasel was seen by the residents, he was barefooted. Many of the victims reported to police that they believed their homes had been entered multiple times. Many were college students, who shared clothing with their roommates, so the disappearance of underwear was not initially noticed. Police said they also found a Google pin map, with handwritten notes on it. One notation reported said “65 enters.” After gaining search warrants for all of Feasel’s electronic devices, police found that Feasel had allegedly made Google searches for several of his victims. He also reportedly searched for them on Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In and MySpace. It also appears from the police reports that Feasel frequented a downtown bar where one of the victims was employed and other victims told police they often visited. This is not the first time for Feasel to face charges of illegally entering homes and taking women’s underwear. He served six months in 2004 after being found with several women’s bras and panties that he had stolen from a Bowling Green apartment. This time around, the search of Feasel’s residence in 2017 reportedly turned up “several containers” full of women’s bras, panties and clothing stored in the loft area of the garage. In addition to bras and panties (seemingly preferring Victoria Secret items), Feasel allegedly took hair extensions, vibrators, headphones, photos, and one woman’s copy of the book, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Many of those items have been identified by women – some who reported the crime before, and others who didn’t even realize items had been stolen. Police were able to locate some of the women by using Feasel’s notes, his mapping, and sometimes by student names on sorority clothing that was stolen, they said. “Once we realized his mode of operandi and after getting evidence from the search warrant, we were able to go back and connect cases,” White said. In one case, Feasel was linked to a crime scene by the DNA he reportedly left behind when he finished up a partially eaten pizza in a box in the refrigerator. He ate all but the crusts, which BCI tested and reportedly found Feasel’s DNA. “He had such a cavalier approach,” White said, noting the number of times Feasel apparently entered…


BGSU, BCI researchers team up to analyze sex assault evidence

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A paper published in a leading journal offers way to make the assessment of sexual assault kits more efficient. That could lead to more perpetrators bein identified and held accountable. The scholarly paper published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences late last year was the combined effort of the Ohio Attorney General’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at Bowling Green State University and the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The work was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Jon Sprague, director of the BGSU Center, said the foundation has a long standing interest in applying statistical methods to criminal justice and forensics science issues. The study, conducted at the BCI lab on campus, looked at the 14,000 sexual assault kits collected through the Attorney General Mike DeWine’s initiative that was launched in 2011. That initiative aimed to process sexual assault kits, known as SAKs, which had been collected in evidence rooms around the state. The BGSU project brought together a team from across the state to look at those 14,000 kits in the BCI database. Jaime Kerka, from the BCI lab in Ridgefield, was tasked with data mining, digging down into the numbers. She ended up compiling a spreadsheet with 3 million cells, Sprague said. That enabled the team to analyze what was in the kits. “What was significant was the application of statistics to the evidence,” Sprague said. That looked at a multitude of characteristics recorded by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) during the initial examination of the victim. That would include evidence collected from swabs from various parts of the body, vagina, anal, ear, neck, as well as samples from clothing, including underwear.  “This can guide people where to you want to start and speed up the process and reduce cost,” Sprague said. The goal is to get DNA that’s eligible to be entered into the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Data from 2,500 of the kits were studied to see the likelihood that they would yield usable DNA samples. The researchers made some important findings about how to do that, some of which confirmed what was already assumed. The seven recommendations made were: The sooner a sample is collected the better. The more time that elapses the probability of getting a CODIS eligible sample decreases. SAKs should go to a forensic lab as soon as possible. Kits not sent immediately to a forensics lab should be stored according to established procedures to preserve the sample. Areas of the body where the attack occurred should be tested first. If no specific areas are identified, vaginal swabs, tests of the crotch area of underwear, and skin tests from ear and neck are most likely to yield useful samples. The latter, Sprague said, was a surprise. Tests of other areas, lip, hairs, fingernails, and mouth, yield usable samples less often. If reports indicate multiple tests of the samples yielding the same DNA profile, those tests need not be done. “This will help eliminate, repetitive testing,” the paper stated. DNA from any partner with whom the victim has had consensual sex should be collected. While that seems to go against the belief that a victim’s previous sexual history is not relevant to an investigation, it is important so that…


Bitter cold takes toll on city workers and equipment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents count on city workers to plow snow off the roads, respond to car crashes, and keep the power on during winter weather. Doing that in bitter cold weather takes a toll on city equipment and on the people that operate it. Snow plow blades are more likely to break in this cold, police cruisers have to run continuously during shifts, and fire hoses have been known to freeze. “We subject our officers to being out in the elements for extended periods,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. That’s tough on people and patrol cars. Layering only does so much, and “they run constantly in the cold,” the chief said of the police cruisers. For the Fire Division, the frigid cold means EMS crews must move even faster for outside calls. “We need to move quickly to get patients out of the elements,” Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said. Firefighting is especially tricky in freezing temperatures. “We have to keep them flowing,” Sanderson said of the hoses. But that means the ground quickly gets covered in ice. The city’s public works department often spreads salt at winter fire scenes to try to give firefighters and their vehicles some traction. “We haven’t had to chisel our fire hose out of the ice yet this week,” Sanderson said. Public works crews face their own problems, with the extreme cold taking a toll on equipment, according to Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter. Snow plow blades tend to break very easily, she said. And trash containers become increasingly brittle and are more prone to breaking, she added. The city utilities department recommends its consumer-owners take the following precautions to help prevent water lines and meters from freezing this winter: Protect exposed pipes from cold air drafts by closing and sealing windows and openings in basements or crawlspaces. Protect your water meter by wrapping it with insulation or a blanket. Provide proper insulation for walls and pipes where necessary. If your water meter is in the garage, take precautions to protect it and keep the garage door closed. If pipes cannot be shielded from the cold or the residence has a history of frozen water lines or meters, run a small stream of cold water from an indoor faucet to keep water moving through your pipes. Make sure the drain is open and clear to allow water to escape. Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees, even if you will be away for several days. Turn off water to your washing machine. Try to have a friend or neighbor check your home periodically while you are away to ensure the heating system is working and that there are no water leaks. If your pipes freeze despite these precautions, do not try to thaw them with a propane torch. If you encounter a broken pipe, be aware of standing water and electrical wires—an electrocution hazard may be present. If you experience problems and are not sure what to do, contact a licensed plumber. The City of Bowling Green can be reached at 419-354-6277 during regular business hours and 419-352-1131 after hours.  Please note that the city cannot work on private service lines, perform plumbing services, or recommend a plumber. However, the city can confirm that a customer’s property is…


Underwear thief charged with repeat offenses in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Hundreds of bras and women’s underwear were found during a search of a Bowling Green man’s home after he was caught reportedly trying to break into an apartment. This is not the first time Bradley Feasel, 33, of 236 S. Grove St., was arrested with stolen underwear and bras in his home. He was sentenced to six months in 2004 after being caught stealing items from an apartment on the East Side of the city. In addition to stolen undergarments, in 2004 police also found a telescope in the trunk of Feasel’s car and a journal detailing how to watch attractive people and how to set up a hidden video camera. “This isn’t his first time,” Bowling Green Police Major Justin White said Friday. The Bowling Green Police Division is asking that any women who have had undergarments stolen to contact Sgt. Hartman at 419-352-1131. This past September, college students living in a house on East Merry Avenue reportedly found a man in their residence when they returned home around 1:30 in the morning. The man fled, leaving a pile of the women’s underwear and clothes under a window as he escaped. The women reported that they believed this to be the third or fourth time the man had entered their home. Later that same month, Feasel was arrested for trespassing in the 200 block of North Enterprise. In that case, the residents reportedly heard Feasel trying to enter by the front door. They called police, who apprehended Feasel outside the house. Feasel matched the description from the East Merry incident, so police executed a search warrant and found hundreds of bras and women’s underwear in his home. “We came across such a large amount of evidence, it’s taking a long time,” White said. The crime lab at the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is assisting with the local investigation. “I do expect more charges,” White added. Meanwhile, Feasel is being held at the Wood County Justice Center. Thirteen years ago, Feasel was charged with some of the same offenses. According to police reports from 2004, Feasel broke into 1480 Burrwood Drive, stealing personal items like jewelry and perfume. He apparently made several trips to and from the home in one night. A female student in the home reportedly walked out of her bedroom at about 2 a.m. and saw Feasel standing in her bathroom. She locked herself in her bedroom until help arrived. Feasel, a BGSU student at the time from Cygnet, was arrested and charged with burglary. Feasel told police that he was just curious and wanted to see what was happening at the residence. According to police, Feasel’s pockets were overflowing with items he had tried to steal from the women early that morning. Reported stolen were underwear, bras, a video recorder, photographs, perfume, jewelry, make-up, tank tops, sweatshirts and a sorority bag. The BGPD obtained a search warrant for Feasel’s car and apartment. Among other items, Feasel had a telescope in the trunk of his car and police found sex toys, jewelry and underwear that were not just the Burrwood women’s items. Police also found a journal kept by Feasel. The journal detailed Feasel’s plans for a website describing how to watch attractive people, how to dress…