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Youngstown fights back

Published: Mon, September 27, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.


Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams issued a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the shooting death Saturday of Thomas J. Repchic. The mayor is offering a reward of up to $10,000. Suspects are believed to have been driving an older model, red Dodge Durango, like this one. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, an anonymous tip line, at (330) 746-2583, or the Youngstown Police Department at (330) 742-8921.

Notice of reward

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams issued a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the shooting death Saturday of Thomas J. Repchic, 75.

The mayor is offering a reward of up to $10,000.

Suspects are believed to have been driving an older- model, red Dodge Durango.

Anyone found assisting the person or people responsible also will be prosecuted.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, an anonymous tip line, at 330 746-2583, or the Youngstown Police Department at 330 742-8921.

Source: The Office of the Mayor


Father Gregory Maturi


Youngstown City Council member Janet Tarpley

The killing of Thomas Repchic galvanizes city leaders to restore civility to the streets

By Elise Franco

By Elise Franco



Community members and elected officials want criminals to know senseless violence won’t be tolerated after another elderly resident was gunned down in broad daylight.

Thomas J. Repchic, 75, and his wife, Jacqueline A. Repchic, 74, were driving near the intersection of Philadelphia Avenue and Southern Boulevard when someone in a red Dodge Durango opened fire, killing him and wounding his wife, police said.

Six to 12 shots were fired at the couple’s Cadillac about 1 p.m. Saturday, according to police reports.

Jacqueline Repchic is in St. Elizabeth Health Center, Youngstown. Her condition wasn’t available Sunday evening.

Family members declined to comment Sunday evening.

Mayor Jay Williams issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the city’s 17th homicide of 2010.

Williams said he hopes the reward will be an incentive for someone to step forward.

“Hopefully this will cause an individual with knowledge to come forward immediately. Someone knows who did this,” he said. “It’s just not something we’re going to tolerate. If the reward serves as a motivation, so be it.”

Williams said he’s sickened by Saturday’s shooting.

“The actions that transpired were absolutely reprehensible,” he said. “There’s no reason on Earth that this should have happened to two truly innocent victims.”

Reports have said just before the shooting, the couple left nearby St. Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Ave., where they are members. Jacqueline Repchic also answers phones in the parish office on Saturdays, said the Rev. Gregory Maturi.

The church parking lot was the site of the Jan. 23 murder of 80-year-old Angeline Fimognari.

Jamar Houser, 19, of Youngstown, is charged with aggravated murder with a death-penalty specification and aggravated robbery in that case.

Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said at this point police have no evidence linking the two crimes.

Hughes said since Saturday detectives have been actively working on pulling in leads and flushing out evidence to find those responsible for the killing.

“We have a full force out right now, and we’re working on whatever leads come in real time,” he said. “I have all the confidence that we’ll be able to identify the individuals involved and make a proper arrest.”

Father Maturi, of St. Dominic, said the entire parish is shocked that another member of the church has been killed this year.

“We’re very sad, shocked, all kinds of emotions,” he said. “This is just senseless. I can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt [them.]”

Father Maturi said though this most recent shooting didn’t happen on church property, it was close, making parishioners angry and uncomfortable.

“I want to get together with [Williams and Janet Tarpley, 6th Ward councilwoman,] because as a church we’re doing everything we can,” he said. “We’ve sunk our resources in, and now we absolutely need the city and the state to act. There’s nothing else we can do.”

Hughes said since Fimognari’s murder the department has beefed up patrols in that area.

“It’s a very sensitive area for us, and we would like to make it safer,” he said.

Tarpley said she plans to speak with the rest of the council about the crimes, blight and abandoned homes that litter the South Side.

She said everyone must be more proactive in protecting the community and its residents.

“It’s been such tragedy over the last couple of months, and we’ve not been able to be proactive in protecting our elderly in our community.” Tarpley said “People think it’s all right to prey upon the elderly and cause them death. This is happening throughout the neighborhood and has other elderly neighbors afraid.”

Father Maturi recognized the couple during Sunday’s morning masses.

“I would ask that you keep [Jacqueline] and her family in your prayers,” he said. “She’s recovering well, but sadly her husband died.”


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Many including myself have warned of the dangers lurking on the SouthSide . For years killings have went on there with little notice . Now the attacks on the St. Dominic's Church members have brought the problem to full light . Let's do what it takes to eliminate crime in the area . Bring in state resources and generate jobs specific to that area . It can be done and let's do it !

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2Billybob21(96 comments)posted 5 years ago

Yeah where are the saturation patrols bring in the state troopers and do a zero tolerance. But do it at night or in the bad neighborhoods dont just do it with the average law abinding citizen. dont just go after the average joe who is speeding or has a headlight out. I will use a slang street word Go Hard!!!

Hit every drug dealer or area where there are complaints of drugs and HIT THEM HARD!!!!!

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3Billybob21(96 comments)posted 5 years ago

My heart goes out to the Repchic family God Bless them during these tough times.

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4UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years ago

I hope those security guards are carrying. It would be nice to see some of these southside black gangstas laying on the parking lot covered over. This is absolutely an outrage that needs swift justice and I don't mean a needle in 20 years.

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5lwmacii(9 comments)posted 5 years ago

I agree with censoredship's observation that we can find priority for other causes, we need to acknowledge and address the issues affecting our neighborhoods.

@ UnionForever please do not rush to assume that the savages that did this crime will conform to your imagery.Many assumed the serial criminals of the real estate agents were black Youngstown residents of which they were neither.

I also believe we must be hard on criminals and those that support them- like drug users/buyers as opposed to slap on wrists or treatment for the 5th time.

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6Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years ago

From the January press conference after the brutal murder of Angeline Fimognari.

“Unless there’s a police officer stationed on every square foot of the city, nothing can done to stop all murders,”

“Can you absolutely stop it with increased patrols and citizen involvement? The answer is probably no.

Unfortunately, it happens too many times in Youngstown, Ohio,” he added.

“This isn’t an example of someone who refused to comply” with a criminal’s demands.

“Generally speaking, around St. Dom’s Church, we have not had any reports of anything alarming. I believe this was absolutely a random event,” said Hughes.

But, like other city neighborhoods, that area has been deteriorating over the years, Williams said. “It’s seen crime and blight.”
“It gives us a bad shot in the arm,” said Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st. “We’re going to have to do better.”

Councilman Paul Drennen, D-5th, said the murder is “shocking” and “appalling.” But it’s not a negative reflection on the city, he said.

"You've got to get beyond the perception of this being an unsafe city," says his community development director, William D'Avignon, "and the only way to do that is to remove the blight, and we've been as aggressive as we possibly can in doing that."

Have the city and there leaders done anything?

“I want to get together with [Williams and Janet Tarpley, 6th Ward councilwoman,] because as a church we’re doing everything we can,” he said. “We’ve sunk our resources in, and now we absolutely need the city and the state to act. There’s nothing else we can do.”

The church did all it could after Angelinas murder but the city did nothing about the war zone called the Southside.

And the useless police chief only has this to say:
“It’s a very sensitive area for us, and we would like to make it safer,” he said.

Just like last January, the city leaders will not make a stand and take back the city from these low life useless cockroaches and just hope the publicity just goes away so they can collect there paychecks and ignore the issues on the southside trash once again.

We need leaders that have balls, not puppets.

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7Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years ago

Baltimore leaders

"The violence is unacceptable, and it has to stop," Dixon said at a City Hall news conference in reaction to the spike in violence. "I'm outraged that a small number of armed thugs can make so many citizens in this city feel unsafe in their own homes."
Deputy Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said that only some "highly motivated" squads would be allowed to take the overtime.

Chicago leaders

"Earlier in the day, Daley talked about new ways to combat violence, which included hiring more officers and transferring others currently on administrative duty back to the streets. The city's predictive policing program will also be expanded, Daley and police Supt. Jody Weis said."

Albuquerque leaders

“Criminals work around the clock and so are we know with our detectives,” Berry said
APD recently formed a night detective squad to track down crooks in action. They started this week.
“The very first night that our night detectives were out they caught one of our Top 5 crime offenders,” Berry said.

Braddock leaders

"This has been a major problem in this town for a long time," explained Police Chief Frank DeBartolo. "Slowly, but surely we're getting it back and it's things like this that will help me get this street back, this corner back."
The Mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, says the community is already making great strides. They haven't lost a life to violence in over 16 months.
"Any [death] is too much," the Mayor said. "We'd have to go all the way back to May of last year, and one is always going to be too many, but I think the numbers are going in the right direction."

And what do OUR leaders say?

“Can you absolutely stop it with increased patrols and citizen involvement? The answer is probably no.

Unfortunately, it happens too many times in Youngstown, Ohio,” he added.

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8walter_sobchak(2306 comments)posted 5 years ago

The illegal drug industry has ruined our society. We are now living in the excrement that was created by the 60's of people living their lives without guardrails. For far too many years we have punished the dealer and not the user. Basic economics; if there is a demand, there will be a supply. Time to once again lock-up the users of illegal drugs in ALL areas of society to dry up the demand. 5 years in prison or court mandated treatment. The money that this industry creates makes it far too dangerous for ordinary society to be able to tolerate.

My old neighborhood is a war zone and my old chuurch is in the middle of gang central. Maybe it's time to stop these wasteful DUI checkpoints and do zero-tolerance sweeps on the southside at midnight. I try to patronize the businesses on the southside that have stuck it out whenever possible but it is oobviously hazardous to yuor health.

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9advocateforjustice(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

If Miss Tarpley would respond to some of the complaints of long standing residents that could help with some of the problems in her ward. However, I don't hold her responsible for this totally ridiculous and senseless act. It is beyond reprehensible that these two indiviuduals are unable to ride along the streets without being at harms risk. I live on the Southside of Youngstown and I try to avoid this particular area. There is no respect for the law. Traffic lights are run as are stop signs with no regard for the law because the law is not enforced. My sympathy to the family, the church and this community

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10DavedS(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

It probably was revenge but more than likely was revenge with mistaken identity.A big Cadillac like that being driven in that area of town could easily be mistaken for one driven by thugs who are at war with each other.

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11blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

YPD be fore warned. When you arrest this guy please do it nicely. If you jerk him out of his car cuff him and throw him on the ground you might get fired by mayor zero tolerance.

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12ohdrama0901(53 comments)posted 5 years ago

Calling people black and getting racist is not going to solve a thing about this heinous crime. Of course, everyone assumed that it was a black male or males who killed and burned up the realtor lady but much to your surprise it wasn't. It is easy to point fingers and put people down because you're angry and outraged but that won't help your problem in a city where life has no value whatsoever and you can be killed coming from church which is supposed to the most sacred and safest place to be. I think it's time for that church to be looking for a new home. It's not good to run but it's not good for the members to be in fear and steadily be shot at and killed either.

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13Attis(1021 comments)posted 5 years ago

Youngstown has been the murder capital of the USA for the past several decades. Nothing has been done about it. Youngstown's southside has decayed into one vast wasteland years ago. Nothing has been done about it, and after all the current buzz settles, nothing will be done about this cancer in our midst. Either move all remaining truly humans out from Woodland to Midlothian and bulldoze the area flat, or seal off the entire area by an official quarantine separating this urban cancer from the few remaining healthy parts of the city.

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14NilesOhio(883 comments)posted 5 years ago

It probably wasn't revenge. It was likely some young punks trying to build up some "street credit" by murdering one innocent person and ruining the life of his wife.

The sad thing is that when honest citizens take the law into their own hands, they're the ones that get arrested while the scum continue to proliferate.

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with "sotired." Get the good people out of that area. The police are obviously outnumbered. In another 8 months, people will start thinking that it might be safer to go there, then another tragedy will happen. This is Youngstown - it's inevitable.

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15DavedS(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

I'm sure some young street punks are behind it but revenge with mistaken identity is most likely the reason as there is an ongoing war amongst these street punks.

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16Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years ago


"YPD be fore warned. When you arrest this guy please do it nicely. If you jerk him out of his car cuff him and throw him on the ground you might get fired by mayor zero tolerance. "

Was thinking the same thing. ;>

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17ytownredux(117 comments)posted 5 years ago

As much as there is blame to go around to those that appear to do nothing about the crime in the area, I hope you will all give praise for those that do their work, and do it well. I was very impressed by the detectives who worked on the first figomnari case who found good witnesses fast and used their wits about that area to know who to talk to and where to look. There was also a lot of very good witnesses that came forward on their own and they need to be recognized and applauded. Hopefully the same will happen here and we will have someone who hears or knows something, come forward for the detectives to do their jobs. Though some leadership may be lacking, the rank and file of the police front line and especially the detectives earn some credit to their profession.

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18NilesOhio(883 comments)posted 5 years ago

Sorry, but a Cadillac driven by a 75 year old looks different than a pimped-out ghetto Cadillac. And the windows were probably not tinted so they could easily have seen the people inside.

Hopefully we will get some more clarification to this story...

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19ytown_kills_me(67 comments)posted 5 years ago

outraged, they knew this was happening in the city and did nothing to stop the thugs....recently i moved my mother off the south side due to the city not combating the problem, its like a plague of locusts, they destroy, and move on, they wont be satisfied until they OWN the entire damn city, and hughes is an idiot, just listen to him , he has the most laughable force in the state if not the country...this place is outta control and it took another st doms murder to do WHAT , nothing cause they dont give a crap...ytown is dead...and it kills me cause i love my home ...but not what it is or has become...i want out ...screw this place its lost and nobody can see it...its a waste land thats laughed upon by the state and whole country...why would anyone move here with no order

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20kman18(14 comments)posted 5 years ago

You want to know the only true way to change a city that is in this much chaos....by moving good people in. There is enough people that commented on this post to take up close to an entire street. I agree that the local and state governments should do more, but too many times we rely on government. When is everyone who talks about how bad Ytown is and how it's never going to change, is ever going to actually do something besides just talk!! Real change only happens one person, one neighbor, one street, one community at a time, not by the government imposing or enforcing some law or strategy.

@sotired...so we should move everyone out? then you would be a "do nothing" as well..because remember...the government is the people.

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21digitgal(11 comments)posted 5 years ago

Tom Repchic's son was murdered about twenty years ago in the same neighborhood while leaving a bar.

And now, it's not even safe to leave a church?

Why does the Diocese stay? Why does anyone in Youngstown stay?

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22ytownredux(117 comments)posted 5 years ago

There is such a double standard. "The police/chief/mayor are doing nothing about this." This mostly comes from those who think less government is better as we cut more and more from police budgets. I am not defending the fat cats at the top of these agencies that are getting paid too much for not enough footwork, but I am talking about the force in general.

The funny thing is, that Kman is the closest to the solution in all of this. Isn't it interesting that about every person in here blames the police, but I haven't seen one thing in here about the parents of the people that are committing these crimes. These 'thugs' as most have described them are generally pretty young. Where are the parents out in force in the streets saying I will not let this happen to my child. Nowhere! This problem is not supposed to be solved by the police, they are there to catch the one's who slip through the cracks. It is the parents that are letting too many for the police to handle to slip through the cracks. Take some ownership people. Move out? It will always be like this in Youngstown? Only if we all let it. The thugs outnumber the police force, how about getting off your a**es and doing it yourself. Say something to someone you see doing wrong. This blame game is ridiculous until we understand that we are all to blame, not just the authorities in charge.

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23jax(6 comments)posted 5 years ago

Most of you talking badly about Youngstown are from it. You have no self-pride. I refuse to let the bad news regaurding Y-town define who I am! The comments you about the people who commit these crimes, represent you as a person! I am from Youngstown! loved My Upbringing, and would not let any of you talk down to me. If you live in Boardman, Canfield, Poland ect. Your neighbors are the one who bring the large quantities of the drugs that keep Youngstown on it's knees. But Youngstown will keep the light on for the suburban crack addicted high school student that comes in to steal. And when he gets arrested, I guess that is Y-town problem also.

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24rosthoff(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

Youngstown has many fine people of all ethnicities. Youngstown has many positive things about it.

The bitterness of a tragedy like this is that all the good things of Youngstown are indicted with all the bad things about Youngstown.

I pray for the victims. I pray for our city. God Help Us!

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25Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

The sad part is that if you respond with gunfire to protect yourself the city will come after you . The subculture trash is highly valued and protected . The productive have to join forces and get people elected that have the fortitude to clean up the city .

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26northsideart(111 comments)posted 5 years ago

@ jax


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27MFC997(258 comments)posted 5 years ago

HS kids from Canfield are NOT ridin' dirty blowing away a couple of senior citizens at high noon. Look in the mirror dude the culture is rotten to the core. This is not The Wire it is real life and real people are dying. We are a hair's breadth away from the ONG instituting martial law on the South Side of Youngstown and you are trying to project onto white kids from the suburbs. Forget it. A line has been crossed this year and the news will go national as an example of the failed policies of a permissive liberal government. There will be hell to pay and it is a long time in coming ...

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28redvert(2185 comments)posted 5 years ago

kman18 wrote: "You want to know the only true way to change a city that is in this much chaos....by moving good people in. There is enough people that commented on this post to take up close to an entire street."

You know, I think you are on to something, The pickings have started to get kinda slim on the southside. Time to bring in some fresh meat.

Quit smoking that ragweed and buy some good stuff!!!

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29jax(6 comments)posted 5 years ago

Someone told me to stfu? Canfield kids are not ridin' dirty at high noon? Fact: Police cannot stand on every corner! Fact: Trere are not very many jobs in the area! Question? Would you give up your job for someone elses well being? You are probably one paycheck away from disconn notices! I t may be easy to judge from behind a computer. But remember that could have fed a family, for a week! Judgement only refects the words from the spoken. #youarenobetter!

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30southsidedave(5126 comments)posted 5 years ago

I am praying that the police catch this scum, $10,000 should be enough for a "rat" to turn the hoodlums in to the authorities....of course even if they are convicted they will be "guests" of the State for many years to come.

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31jax(6 comments)posted 5 years ago

That is my point Thomas53, you refer to Italians. But you refer to Blacks as rats? Remember #youarenobetter!

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32disgustedjoker(49 comments)posted 5 years ago

This is sinful! The police know who these thugs are. They terrorize the streets daily and are let go! I see the crack down on crime that the State Highway Patrol is doing is working!!!!! Keep pulling over the working class and handing out the tickets!!! Let the thugs keep shooting innocent elderly citizens that pay taxes!!!

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33DavedS(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

Glad that an arrest is imminent.I'm sure it was a case of mistaken identity--these street punks don't make a concerted effort to find out who they are shooting at--you don't have to be driving a pimped out Caddy to be mistaken for a street thug in Ytown.

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34nojimbo(254 comments)posted 5 years ago

From www.wfmj.com: "The tragic irony in this story is that the Repchic's son, 25-year-old Thomas Repchic, was robbed and murdered 20 years ago just across the street from where his father tragically died on Saturday." Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Action steps, tomorrow morning the mayor should fire Hughes. Ask him to clean out his office by the end of the day. Second, ask the Governor for National Guard patrols in targeted wards of the city. Who cares if it's a public relations disaster? When people are gunned down in broad daylight with no robbery or revenge as even an attempt at a motive, you have total anarchy. Third, demand dollars from the White House for full time, round the clock demolition work throughout the city.

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35Enough(32 comments)posted 5 years ago


You are an uninformed. ill-informed idiot. STFU. There, now that's two of us.

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36walter_sobchak(2306 comments)posted 5 years ago

The Police Chief serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and he is an embarassment. I just hope no cats were harmed in this shooting incident! :>)

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37ytown_kills_me(67 comments)posted 5 years ago

27 reports 2 in custody after search of home on garfield on their website

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38jax(6 comments)posted 5 years ago

@ everyone! Please try to comment with Pride. You would not dare speak like this in public, so why do it on a blog? Decent comments are fired back at with evil comments, telling someone to do something you Don't have the Balls to do face to face. Tell your co-workers and children to read your nasty posts. The kids will not be happy to know they are bred from such filth.

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39southsidedave(5126 comments)posted 5 years ago

Jax -

You apparently have a problem with criticism...and other people expressing his or her opinion in contrast to your thoughts.

If that is true, maybe the posting boards are not the place for you.

Only my observation, please do not take offense and lash out at me.

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40DavedS(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

Police have made an arrest and are in the process of locating the other thug who participated in this horrific crime.Seems that they mistook Repchic's Caddy for one that belonged to a drug dealer that they were at odds with.

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41jax(6 comments)posted 5 years ago

@ Southsidedave Huh?

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42ohdrama0901(53 comments)posted 5 years ago

@ Jax why even try to make some sense with these people. It's one of their own that was killed so of course now you're hearing the racist name calling and all that which I am sure you should have been expecting. Maybe this needed to happen to wake the people to clean the town up.

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43NilesOhio(883 comments)posted 5 years ago

DavedS - You were absolutely right. It was a case of mistaken identity. I don't see how someone could confuse an old 75 year old guy and his wife with a young punk, but I guess we're not talking about the sharpest knives int the drawer, either.

Back to eating crow.....

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44DavedS(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

No need to eat crow--99% of us would not confuse them.Those with IQ's less than their ages are easily confused--I'm sure they thought the Mooney Lacrosse decal on the rear window was put there to throw them off.

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