Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Lawrence briefs

September 4, 2002

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Ricocheting bullet wounds bar worker; teen arrested

A bar employee hiding behind a trash bin was wounded by a ricocheting bullet early Sunday in the 900 block of Iowa Street, Lawrence Police said.

A 17-year-old Topeka boy was arrested Sunday night in connection with the shooting and taken to the Douglas County Juvenile Detention Center. Charges were pending Tuesday.

According to police accounts, officers were called shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday after shots had been fired from one vehicle at another. When police arrived, the two vehicles and the gunman were gone. Police recovered five shell casings for bullets fired from a .380-caliber pistol.

A 25-year-old Lawrence man who works at the Pool Room, 925 Iowa, was grazed on the left arm by a bullet. He was treated at the scene by a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical crew. He had been taking out trash when the shooting occurred, Police Sgt. Mike Pattrick said.

During their investigation police identified a suspect. Sunday night police stopped a Jeep in which the suspect was riding in the 1900 block of West 31st Street and arrested him.

Police say they do not know the motive for the shooting.

Preliminary hearing set in date-rape drug case

A preliminary hearing is scheduled at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 for a Lawrence public schools paraprofessional charged with drugging three women and attempting to rape one of them.

Chief Judge Robert Fairchild set the hearing when the 21-year-old suspect and his attorney, Jim George, appeared Tuesday in Douglas County District Court.

The suspect was arrested last week after one of the three women all Kansas University students tested positive for traces of gamma hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, known as the date-rape drug. Test results from the other two women were pending, police and prosecutors said.

The suspect, who assisted with coaching several sports in the Lawrence school district, is free on bond. A decision about what, if any, action is to be taken concerning the suspect is pending by the school district, spokeswoman Julie Boyle said.

"He is not in the classroom," Boyle said.

George and the suspect declined to comment.

It is the Journal-World's policy, generally, to withhold the name of a person accused of a sex crime until a guilty plea or conviction is entered.

KU student faces charge in Monday morning stabbing

A Kansas University student was charged Tuesday with aggravated battery for allegedly stabbing a man early Monday.

Travis S. Loeser, 19, Sugar Land, Tex., was being held in the Douglas County Jail on $2,500 bond.

Loeser was arrested by Lawrence Police after a stabbing during a gathering at a residence in the 400 block of West 13th Street.

About 3:30 a.m. Monday, Loeser reportedly was told to leave by a 27-year-old man who was an acquaintance, police said. Loeser allegedly returned later, stabbed the man and fled. The stabbing victim identified Loeser for police, who then arrested him at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Stewart Avenue.

The victim was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Loeser is to appear at 2 p.m. Monday in Douglas County District Court before Judge Jack Murphy.

Auto repair business victim of car theft

Two weeks after it was hit by an arson fire, a North Lawrence auto repair shop reported a car was taken off its lot.

About 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Lawrence Police were sent to James Gang Automotive, 304 Locust St., to investigate a report that a pickup truck had rolled into the street from the business.

Officers determined that the Ford F-150 truck had been pushed from the lot so someone could gain access to a car, described only as a Buick Police Sgt. Mike Pattrick said. The car was missing.

Early Aug. 21, police and firefighters responded to an arson fire inside the business. In addition, two vehicles were taken from the lot as were other property items from the building.

The arson investigation is continuing. Police are trying to determine whether the latest theft is related.

Sleeping suspect, stolen cigarettes found in truck

A Lawrence man allegedly broke in to a store early Saturday, stole cigarettes and then was caught by police after he fell asleep in a pickup truck a short distance away.

Police said they found the packages of the cigarettes strewn about the floor of the truck.

About 4 a.m., police responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Citgo, 920 N. Third St. Someone had broken the glass door and removed cigarettes from behind the counter, police said.

A search led police to a nearby pickup truck where the man was found sleeping.

The suspect, 51, was taken to the Douglas County Jail and later released on $4,500 bond. He is to appear in court for possible charges at 3 p.m. Sept. 18.

Electrical short blamed for fire at fraternity house

An electrical short in an alarm clock caused Monday night's fire at a Kansas University fraternity house, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical officials said.

Damage to Beta Theta Pi fraternity, 1425 Tenn., was estimated at $70,000, Fire & Medical Deputy Chief Mark Bradford said Tuesday.

"Most of that was from smoke and water," Bradford said.

Firefighters responded to the fraternity house at 7:20 p.m. All fraternity members escaped unharmed. Members whose rooms were damaged in the fire will stay in other parts of the house or with friends, fire officials said.

Built in 1872, the fraternity house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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