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Archive for Friday, March 15, 2002

Police and Fire Briefs

March 15, 2002

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Driver injured in rollover

A Lawrence man was injured Wednesday night when the pickup truck he was driving overturned a mile west of Lawrence, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

Jeffrey C. McGovern, 21, was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Topeka by ambulance, the patrol reported.

McGovern was westbound on U.S. Highway 40 when he attempted to turn into a private driveway, according to the report. The 1997 Ford pickup truck he was driving rolled onto its side.

A spokesman at St. Francis said McGovern's condition was unavailable.

Robot used to defuse fireworks device

A robot from the Olathe Fire Department's bomb unit was put to work Wednesday near the entrance to Clinton Lake State Park.

There was no bomb, but the robot, nicknamed the "Tin Man," was used to defuse what was described by Douglas County Sheriff's officers and Olathe bomb technicians as a fireworks device.

The device was discovered about 11 a.m. by a park maintenance worker handling a controlled grass burn in the area, said Sheriff's Lt. Kathy Tate.

Sheriff's officers and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were called to the scene. They in turn called Olathe.

The bomb unit sent a three-foot-high remote-controlled robot rolling to the device on tank treads. Using a television camera built into the robot to see, technicians defused the device from a distance, said Capt. Cody Henning, who heads the bomb unit.

Transient arrested after incident at Priscilla's

A Lawrence man was arrested Tuesday night after he allegedly yelled obscenities at customers in Priscilla's, 1206 W. 23rd St.

Police were called to the store about 8:30 p.m. Glen D. Gross, 52, described by officers as a transient, was allegedly being loud and abusive with customers, police said.

Gross was arrested and taken to the Douglas County Jail for disorderly conduct. He was released a short while later and ordered to appear May 10 in Lawrence Municipal Court.

Suspect's trial continued in bathroom videotaping

Ottawa The trial of Lawrence man charged with videotaping women in a restaurant bathroom has been continued.

Darrin A. Votaw, 31, will be back in Franklin County District Court at 11 a.m. April 1 for a hearing on various motions and to set a new trial date.

During a hearing Wednesday before Magistrate Judge Edwin Smith, a videotape of an Ottawa Police interview with Votaw was given to defense attorney, Tim Riling.

Votaw was arrested last month after police obtained information that he allegedly was videotaping women in the rest room at G. Willikers Bar and Deli, 306 Main.

Votaw, who was part owner of the restaurant at the time, is charged with 15 misdemeanor counts of eavesdropping. He has pleaded innocent.

Firefighters keep busy fighting rural grass fires

Grass fires kept Douglas County firefighters on the run Wednesday.

Wind and dry conditions caused a grass fire to get out of control about 3:30 p.m. at North 900 and East 1900 roads on property owned by Sean Buchanan, Lawrence, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.

Buchanan was doing a controlled burn of grass when the flames spread out of control, officers said.

Firefighters from Eudora, Palmyra and Wakarusa Townships responded.

Earlier, about 1:30 p.m. firefighters from Eudora responded to 1962 N. 1200 Road on property belonging to John Steffen, the Sheriff's Office said. Steffen had been burning off a field when the fire got out of control, a report said.

Firefighters were called back to the area about 6:30 p.m. when a woodpile reignited.

No damage estimates were listed. No structures were threatened, officers said.

Kansan dies in wreck

Ness City A west-central Kansas woman was killed Thursday when the vehicle she was driving crossed the center line of Kansas Highway 96 in Ness County and hit a tractor-trailer.

The Kansas Highway Patrol has identified the victim as Kerrie Parker, 35, of Dighton.

Both Parker's vehicle and the tractor trailer came to rest in ditches. Fire destroyed the rig, but the truck driver was not injured, the patrol said.

Chicago slaying suspect caught in Topeka

Topeka A Chicago man wanted in the killing of a bystander during a shooting between alleged gang members has been arrested in a Topeka restaurant, the FBI announced Thursday.

Derrick Hall, 21, is charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution after the Nov. 17, 2001, shooting. Hall is being jailed in Topeka while he awaits an extradition hearing.

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