Homicide victim ID’d

Homicide victim ID’d


The Trumbull County coroner’s office Tuesday confirmed that the man found dead Friday in the driveway of an abandoned home on Colonial Street Southeast was Javaris D. Russell, 33, of Kenmore Avenue Northeast. His death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wound to the head.

A man walking on Colonial told police at 4:04 p.m. he did not see anyone else, just walked closer after seeing the body from a distance.

About an hour after the 911 call, a sizable crowd had gathered in the neighborhood, causing Warren police to call for other law-enforcement agencies to assist with crowd control.

Russell’s death is Warren’s fourth homicide this year. The city had six at this time in 2018.

Menacing charges


Dennis Puskarcik, the former Campbell police chief who resigned in January, is facing misdemeanor menacing charges in the Struthers Municipal Court.

As first reported by The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, 21 WFMJ-TV, Struthers prosecutor John Zomoida charged the former chief with menacing after he allegedly threatened Melissa Williams, a Campbell police officer.

Williams alleged Puskarcik improperly accessed the department’s evidence room and stole items.

Puskarcik ultimately was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by an internal investigation by Campbell police. Williams was placed on a 10-day unpaid disciplinary leave in March after an internal investigation into her claims found she had not followed proper rules and procedures for reporting wrongdoing.

Puskarcik’s arraignment is April 26.

Man shoots himself


Police said a man at a 208 E. LaClede Ave. home shot himself about 4:35 p.m. Tuesday while handling a gun. The man was wounded in the leg and hand, police said. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital for treatment.

Feds look to seize 5 guns, more than $10K


Federal prosecutors Tuesday unsealed an indictment asking to seize more than $10,000 in cash and five guns from a defendant charged with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Charged in the indictment is Benjamin Fontanez III, 30, who court records show has several addresses listed in Youngstown.

The indictment says Fontanez had more than 40 grams of fentanyl he was intending to sell that was found April 8, 2017, in a Church Hill-Hubbard Road home in Trumbull County that belonged to him.

The indictment was filed March 1 but remained sealed until Tuesday after Fontanez was taken into custody.

Woman accuses man of throwing acid at her


A Struthers man was arrested Saturday after his pregnant girlfriend claimed he threw acid at her and assaulted her at Days Inn, according to police reports.

The victim told police Brandon Shavor, 42, started an argument with her at Krakatoa and carried her to their Days Inn room. There, he attacked her and threw “crystal drain opener” into her eyes, the report said.

The victim also told police she went to the hospital after abuse by Shavor in March. She dropped the domestic-violence charges regarding the incident, however.

Shavor was arrested on two charges of domestic violence and felonious assault. The victim was treated at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital.

He appeared in Mahoning County Area Court for his arraignment Tuesday morning, where he entered a not-guilty plea. He has a pretrial hearing next Tuesday.

Inmate’s hunger strike


An Ohio State Penitentiary inmate who stabbed several prisoners and a corrections officer in separate incidents is in the midst of a hunger strike, claiming he’s being mistreated at the city’s super-max prison on state Route 616.

Inmate Gary Reinke had missed 14 meals as of Tuesday, which surpasses the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation’s definition of a hunger strike.

“Inmate Reinke has not been subject to any harassment by our correctional staff,” said Sara French, ODRC spokeswoman. “Due to inmate Reinke’s assaultive behavior, he is managed at a high security level.”

Incident records provided by ODRC show Reinke has a history of assaulting officers and possessing crude weapons.

Reward for fire info


The fire department is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information about a fire at 27 E. Liberty St. on Saturday night, which investigators suspect was arson, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Anyone with information in asked to call the department at 330-545-0318.

Deputy clerk appointed


Village council appointed Bob Canter as deputy clerk of council at its Tuesday night meeting. Canter will earn a yearly salary of $4,000 as clerk.

Canter replaces Mark Mrofchak as clerk. Canter is the fiscal officer for the Western Reserve Joint Fire District.

His brother Paul Canter is the fiscal officer for Poland Township.

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