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Cops keep heat on suspect



Published: Wed, April 30, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police say the suspect may be trying to gather enough cash to go to Florida.

By MARALINE KUBIK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- While Youngstown police and officers from numerous other jurisdictions are chasing down a flood of leads in the killing of Patrol Officer Michael Hartzell, arrangements are being made for his funeral Saturday.

Youngstown is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hartzell's killer. Police have identified Martin L. Koliser Jr., 31, as the prime suspect.

Hartzell was shot to death while sitting in his cruiser in front of 275 Federal Plaza West, the old Master's Uniform shop, at 2:19 a.m. Tuesday. At the time, he was investigating a gray Lincoln Town Car involved in a shooting at the Casaloma Gardens bar, 2843 Mahoning Ave., on the city's West Side. That shooting happened about two hours earlier.

Checked on car

Police say Hartzell had been investigating that shooting and was on his way to the police station to drop off reports when he stopped to run a license plate number on the Lincoln.

Donell Rowe, 23, of Salt Springs Road, was shot once in the chest at Casaloma. Koliser is wanted on a warrant in the shooting of Rowe. Police have not issued a warrant for Koliser in the Hartzell shooting.

Koliser is white, 6 feet tall, 185 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his chest and left arm.

He was last seen driving a black, 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais with Ohio registration EC51DR. The car has an American flag sticker on the rear window and a red air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror, police said.

Police say sources have indicated Koliser may be trying to gather enough cash to leave the area, possibly heading to Clearwater, Fla. Police warn he may be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Koliser or the car he was last seen driving should call the Youngstown Police Department's detective bureau at (330) 742-8911, the nonemergency police line at (330) 747-7911, or the command center at (330) 746-3434 ext. 200.

Tip from motorist

Law enforcement officers in Columbiana County and Hancock County, W.Va., responded about 3 p.m. Tuesday when a motorist called the Columbiana County sheriff's office on a cell phone and said he believed he was following the black Calais on U.S. 30 north of East Liverpool.

Officers from the sheriff's office, East Liverpool police and the Hancock County Sheriff's office were dispatched to the scene but did not see the car.

Police departments from as far away as West Virginia have offered to help Youngstown police in finding Hartzell's killer, Police Chief Robert E. Bush Jr. said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

kubik@vindy.com




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