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Citing crime, city says College Hill property is a nuisance

Posted: 6:25 PM, Sep 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-26 23:55:48Z

CINCINNATI -- Police are cracking down on crime at a College Hill corner they said has been plagued by problems.

Early Sunday, two men were shot and killed near the Rustic Tavern on the corner of W. Galbraith and Daly roads. Tuesday night, police said a 17-year-old was shot in the back by the Sunoco gas station catty-corner to the bar in what may have been a street robbery. Last year, Omar Muhammad was killed in an alley at the strip mall at the intersection. Muhammad's killing remains unsolved.

Hope Dudley is Muhammad's aunt.

"Right now, his case is unsolved, and for his mother and other family members we're asking people to come forward," she said. 

One week ago, the city filed a nuisance action against the strip mall's landlord. Police records show 538 calls for service and 48 arrests there since 2013. And that was before 28-year-old Stephen Anderson Jr. and 29-year-old Nathaniel Davis were killed there Sunday. 

The Rustic Tavern's security cameras recorded the incident. Owner Derick Moore said he installed the cameras and lights on his own. Now, he said he's voluntarily shutting down for the next 28 days to renovate and add more security, and to work with police on a crime cleanup plan. 

"We're going to work through those issues," Police Capt. Doug Wiesman said. "We absolutely will partner with the community on this. I can't do it without them."

Earlier this month, police raided a store in the strip mall and the house next to it. According to court documents, the store Daly Connection was selling marijuana and cash in exchange for EBT cards, or food stamps. Quincy Hampton, 39, is facing three counts of illegal use of food stamps and two counts of trafficking in marihuana. Police said another person was also charged, and a third person was also arrested with three misdemeanor warrants. 

It was enough for police to go after the landlord with the nuisance action, too.

"If they don't rectify some of these nuisances, obviously the city and the prosecutor's office will try to," Wiesman said. 

Wiesman, the District 5 captain, pointed out that violent crime in College Hill is down and has been falling. Data show shootings are down, too. 

Police are adding patrols to the area. Tuesday night, they met with the College Hill Community Council to talk about adding overtime officers there. Wiesman said he wants to add bike officers for visibility. 

"I know this has been a flurry of activity and everyone's upset about it and I understand that, but we're on it right now, we've been working on it even beforehand," Wiesman said. "I don't just want anybody to think that it's just out of control. We've had some very good success the past couple of years with reducing violent crime."