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<!---##CCI#[Text Tag=head Group=All]---><!---##CCI#[/Text]---> Courthouse confrontation:
Owensby son arrested


By Kimball Perry
Post staff reporter

A day after Roger Owensby Sr. was told that the case against Cincinnati police accused of killing his son won't be reopened, Owensby's other son was arrested after his father confronted a Cincinnati police officer at a court hearing today.

Police Officer Patrick Caton was at the Hamilton County Courthouse today for a hearing in which the city of Cincinnati asked a judge to overturn an arbitrator's decision that reinstated Caton to his job after he was fired for "failure of good behavior and neglect of duty" stemming from Owensby's death.

After Common Pleas Court Judge Ethna Cooper ended the hearing at about 2 p.m. and said she would rule later, Roger Owensby Sr. asked Caton whether he knew who he was.

According to Owensby, Caton responded: "I don't give a ---- who you are.'"

"He had a little smirk on his face the entire time," Owensby said.

Bill Gustavson, Caton's attorney, contended that Caton was disrespectful to no one. "He didn't say that. I was standing right there," Gustavson said. "He said, 'No sir, I have no idea who you are."

That's when the others with Owensby started calling Caton names, Gustavson said, forcing Fraternal Order of Police head Sgt. Harry Roberts to rush Caton and his wife down the hall while Gustavson went back into the courtroom to alert security.

"We had to call the sheriffs. We were being attacked," Gustavson said.Caton and his party left the courthouse through the basement.

After the exchange between Owensby and Caton, people who accompanied Owensby to the hearing began taunting Caton, who was acquitted of a criminal charge against him stemming from the Nov. 7, 2000, death of Roger Owensby Jr. while in police custody.

Police arrested another Owensby son, Shawn, at the scene today and charged him with disorderly conduct.

People who witnessed the confrontation, however, insisted the younger Owensby did nothing improper.

"We were the ones calling (Caton) a punk -- murderer because that is what he is," said Victoria Straughn, one of those with Owensby.

Roger Owensby Sr., with tears streaming down his face, tried to find out where police had taken his son before others in the crowd physically grabbed him and removed him from the scene.

"They are keying on my son. They are keying on us," Roger Owensby Sr. said after the incident.

"This is not going to stop until we get justice for my son. This is crazy."

Last month, Cincinnati City Council Member Christopher Smitherman asked Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to reopen the Owensby case, in which both Caton and former Cincinnati Police Officer Robert "Blaine" Jorg were acquitted. (After Jorg was found not guilty on one count and the jury deadlocked on another, then-Prosecutor Mike Allen decided not to retry Jorg, who later left the Cincinnati police force.)

In a letter to Owensby Tuesday, Deters said there was no new evidence that would allow him to reopen the criminal case against Caton, Jorg or other officers in his son's death.


Publication Date: 02-02-2005




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