As 2018 comes to an end, WCPO looks back at some of the crimes, suspected crimes and investigations we encountered over the past year. No crime should be considered ordinary, but there’s no doubt, some Tri-State crimes leave a lasting impression.
Here’s a look at the 9 craziest crimes -- alleged crimes -- of 2018.
9. Porch thief accused of stealing urine jug
Just this month, police in Green Township say they arrested a suspect caught on video stealing a half-gallon urine jug, gym shorts and a 27-pound bag of dog food.
Andrew Felix, 27, of Miami Township was captured by Green Township police and Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies. Anna and Toby Norman said they had been waiting for the urine testing kits to see if they could be a match for their cousin who needs a kidney transplant.
Felix also stole $200 worth of women's clothing from another porch, police say. He will be back in court come January.
8. Boy held hostage during tense standoff
Donald Gazaway held a 10-year-boy hostage for more than 30 hours at a Liberty Township apartment complex in January. The young hostage was safely released, but authorities thought several times that the situation would end very differently.
"We felt that he wanted us to shoot him at different times,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said after the boy’s release.
Law enforcement arrived at the Springs at Liberty Township around midnight the night of Jan. 12 responding to some kind of altercation. That was on Friday. Gazaway was visiting a friend at the apartment. That friend -- the hostage's mother -- told WCPO she ran out to get help and left her son behind. She wouldn’t see her son again until Sunday at 6:36 a.m. when Gazaway gave up and came outside using the boy as a shield.
Gazaway was found guilty of kidnapping, felonious assault, inducing panic, aggravated burglary, and having weapons under disability after a four-day trial in Butler County. He was found not guilty of aggravated robbery.
Gazaway was sentenced in December to more than 40 years in prison.
7. Serial flasher targets women in Blue Ash
Blue Ash police started out 2018 with a serial flasher on their hands. Police issued an alert in late January for a man accused of exposing himself to women at three different locations: outside an oncology clinic, a library and a hospice care center. The incidents all happened within one hour of each other on Jan 19.
In one of the three cases, Ethan Bishop called out to a woman in the parking lot of the Blue Ash library on Cooper Road. When the woman approached, Bishop exposed himself while performing lewd acts, according to court documents. He repeated similar behavior outside the oncology clinic and Hospice of Cincinnati which is located across the street from the police department.
According to police, the suspect drove from location to location in a white car and called out to his victims including an 82-year-old woman.
"They were very shaken up by the incident, as anybody would be," Lt. Robert Gerhardt said. "No one is immune to going through this. Someone knows who this person is; someone saw this."
Bishop was caught and arrested the following month. Bishop pleaded guilty one count of public indecency in April. Two other charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to 50 days in jail.
6. Driver slams into Loveland bar
Multiple people were taken to the hospital after a driver crashed into a Loveland bar, allegedly on purpose. Bradley Pauley drove a Kia Optima through a fence, across a patio and into the side of Zappz Sports Bar and Grille on Loveland Madeira Road on April 22, police said. Witnesses told police that Pauley smashed into the building intentionally.
"There was an incident that occurred before where the driver had been in a fight and was asked to leave," Blake Freeman, a witness, told police.
According to court records, Pauley drove into the bar "causing serious physical harm" to Andrew Attinger, a patron at the bar. Attinger was transported by life squad to the hospital. Pauley is charged with two counts of felonious assault, one count of aggravated vehicular assault and vandalism. The case against him is pending. A judge scheduled a competency hearing for Jan. 25.
5. Child sex doll leads to child porn indictment
Is a child sex doll child pornography? That was the question at the center of a recent case in Kenton County. A grand jury indicted a Fort Mitchell man on a child porn charge after the shipment of a child sex doll from China drew the attention of authorities.
Customs officials tracked the package containing the doll. They alerted Homeland Security officials, who notified Kentucky State Police. Troopers said they watched to see whether Scott Phillips would accept the package, and then arrested him and searched his apartment after he did.
Judge Douglas Grothaus ended up dismissing the charge connected to the sex doll, saying that a doll isn't a person and therefore not child porn.
Phillips was charged with possession of matter portraying a sexual performance stemming from material recovered from his cellphone, according to Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders. Sanders said he was considering an appeal and that he believed state legislators should pass a law stating the child sex doll counts as child porn.
4. Sex doll found in garbage bag
Speaking of sex dolls, a “body” reported near Richardson Forest Preserve turned out to be a sex doll in a garbage bag, according to police.
Police referred to it as a “recreational mannequin” that looked lifelike from a distance. Because it had been abandoned on a hillside, investigators initially struggled to reach the "body" and identify it. There was no crime after all, unless you count illegal dumping. But the discovery had investigators on edge.
3. Man accused of stealing ‘Shop with a Cop’ donations
This next story is courtesy of the 9 On Your Side I-Team. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted a man accused of stealing donations while claiming to be raising money for a "Shop with a Cop" program.
Jerry Hinkle, 67, is facing charges of theft, telecommunications fraud, securing writings by deception and theft from an elderly person or disabled adult. Authorities said thousands of people were duped into giving money to Hinkle or his associates, thinking they were helping children in need.
Hinkle was arrested in December. If convicted, Hinkle faces at least a decade in prison.
2. ‘Amorous role playing’ a case of attempted murder
A story in Blanchester caught our attention. A woman was shot during what police called ‘amorous role playing’ on May 2. The woman’s boyfriend, Jamie McLaughlin, was later indicted on attempted murder and other charges.
According to police, the woman told investigators that the shooting was accidental, but later discovered evidence suggesting the shooting was no accident.
Police arrested McLaughlin on May 6 after two Morrow residents said they had spent the night with him and he threatened them with a machete when they tried to leave.
The case against McLaughlin is pending in Clinton County. A jury trial is scheduled for early 2019.
1. The butterfly bandit
Who could forget the case of a Springfield Township woman who thought the disappearance of a blue morpho butterfly would go unnoticed. Jamie Revis was caught on surveillance video stealing the butterfly from the Krohn Conservatory butterfly show on April 15.
Revis, who had multiple butterflies in her home, told a WCPO reporter via text about her art and what inspires it.
"I'm always inspired! Creating comes naturally to me and it's accompanied by a desire to leave my mark on the world, to form something beautiful before my time is up," Revis wrote. "Whether it's planting a garden, writing, making art, planting trees, saying something kind and uplifting, I feel a need to create beauty and leave the world a piece of my heart behind.
"I love butterflies and moths! They captivate me. I'm forever amazed at how they appear so fragile and delicate yet are fully capable of migrating across continents! How extraordinary is that!? Their strength is remarkable and their beauty even more so."
Revis pleaded guilty to a charge of theft. She is banned from the Krohn Conservatory and was ordered to take critical thinking classes.