Crime stories

Man claims cops erased phone video

The jury trial for a man arrested by East Palestine police during the village’s street fair in May has been postponed yet again, and the police department is requesting state assistance with the investigation. County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost learned Thursday during the pretrial for Eric Goempel that the police department contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s Office because of Goempel’s accusation police erased a video from his son’s cell phone during the arrest.

Robbery fails

A man reportedly attempted to rob the Vittle Village in Unity Township on Wednesday evening, but got away without any money. The white male, described as between 30 and 40 years old, had his right hand in his jacket pocket as if he had a gun and demanded all the money. But he took off when the clerk yelled for another employee.

Robbery succeeds, but only for a little while

A?man robbed Gina’s Drive-Thru on Pennsylvania Avenue in East Liverpool Wednesday night. But the suspect did not remain at large, as surveillance video led officers to believe they recognized the person from his build and a tattoo on his calf which had not been completely concealed. Jason Vantilburg, 42, was arrested at his home.

Robinson acquitted of theft

A Common Pleas Court jury found Seth S. Robinson not guilty of taking a diamond ring belonging to his mother-in-law. Robinson had nearly pleaded guilty to a negotiated misdemeanor charge of theft in late February. But in the middle of that plea hearing before Judge C. Ashley Pike, he had changed his mind and with forward with a jury trial on a fifth-degree felony theft charge. The jury acquitted him on Wednesday.