Police Have Leads, But No Solid Suspects In Withrow Vandalism

Jan 24, 2017

Cincinnati Police have some leads to go on to try to find the person responsible for spray painting swastikas and racial slurs on Withrow University High School over the weekend.

District police commander Captain Kimberly Williams says the leads mostly come from a 10-second surveillance video clip released Monday. They have leads, Williams says, but no solid suspects.

"We've also had leads on individuals from people who have seen the video and believe they fit the description of someone they know,'' Williams says.

But none of the tips are so solid as to lead to an arrest.

"The problem is some of the leads we are getting are pretty vague and so they have to be tracked down and we have to try to connect the dots,'' Williams says. But, so far, she says detectives haven't found anything to give them probable cause to move forward on any individual suspect.

Williams and Lt. Adam Hennie, head of the police department's youth services unit, updated council's Neighborhoods Committee Tuesday afternoon.

Before the meeting, Hennie told reporters there is no doubt what police are dealing with here.

"Obviously we can tell this is a hate crime; I think that's a pretty basic understanding,'' Hennie said. "So why an individual would do this, I don't understand personally. But it is being treated as a hate crime."

Hennie said that the students and staff at Withrow are handing this well and see it as an isolated incident. The graffiti was removed by Monday morning when students returned to classes. And they were met at the school doors by a large crowd of cheering parents and neighbors of the school, who came to give the students support.