On January 28th of this year, Brandon Cohen went out with his then fiance'(Stephanie Renee Carver) to a local tavern (Lucky's) in Findlay, Ohio. What was supposed to be a great night between the two turned into an ongoing nightmare for Brandon, his family, and his friends.
While at the Lucky's, his fiance’ was allegedly being harassed by 2 Caucasian men in the very small tavern. Brandon confronted them, not being a fighter he chose to use his words and thought things were under control. Minutes later, he (Brandon) went outside to smoke. He was followed out by the alleged attackers and was viciously beaten, the 1st punch to the nose knocking him unconscious. As he was laying there helpless, he was kicked and punched repeatedly in the head by both men, causing severe blunt force trauma. Brandon is a 27 year old African American who is about 5'8 and 135lbs. He is now fighting for his life in a Toledo hospital; Findlay's hospital could not handle the extent of his injuries. He has had 4 surgeries to help stop the swelling and bleeding in his brain. His family has been told he will need around the clock care for the rest of his life....that is, if he lives.
Brandon's family has reached out to the police for information and justice for their loved one, to no avail. The detectives have said there are too many conflicting stories, they have no "real" evidence, and that the family's constant interfering has made it worse. The family has called in news crews and is in the process of reaching out to the NAACP. Findlay has advised against any publicity, due to "unwanted" calls of no interest to them. Findlay has yet to release names, descriptions, or even given out a tip line for crime stoppers. February 3rd, the family held a vigil for Brandon. Originally they had planned to hold it at Riverside city park. That was shot down by the police department, even going to the extent of stating anyone found at that park would be arrested. It ended up being held at a private house, over 50 people attended.
Nine days after the beating they called the detective because Brandon was more alert and no one from the police department had been up to document his injuries, let alone talk with the family or Doctor's attending to daily needs. Detective Ed VonStein begrudgingly came up but stated that it was a wasted trip that took away from his real investigating. This seems somewhat ironic, due to the fact that they not only have told the family they take the weekends off (no matter what has happened), they have pretty much deemed it a cold case due to conflicting stories and lack of evidence. One would think that Brandon’s injuries are quite enough evidence for them to proceed, not to mention the countless witness's at the bar.
February 8,2011, Jeff Barton,53 and Caucasian, was found dead directly outside of Lucky's Tavern. He was taken to the morgue where Dr. Mark Fox (Hancock County Coroner) performed an autopsy and determined that Mr. Barton had died of natural causes. Case closed, right? No, Lt. Chuck Wilson went on record stating that the death "was still under further investigation". That is dedication to the job, to the people! At least that is what the written word was. I have heard from the family, they would like to share their story with you.
Gina Barton, widow of deceased, Jeff Barton:
" The facts you have posted about my husband (Jeff Barton) are not correct.
Jeff was hit with a brick in the breeze way of Lucky’s bar; this is the same place that Brandon would have gone to smoke. Jeff had been arguing with one man inside the BAR when he went outside to smoke the man and three other men he was at the Bar with followed him outside One of the men hit him in the head with a brick; Luckys’ has brick pavers out side the breeze way, it was 14 degrees out side that night, and Jeff was intoxicated EMS calculated that Jeff could have laid outside for up to 30 minuets before they were called. Lucky’s should have ensured that all of their patrons were safe, they failed to do so. The Courier Newspaper, in Findlay also reported that the other patrons in the Bar requested the juke box to be turned up because the fighting out side was too loud. The Detectives gave me the same response that Brandon’s family is getting. Conflicting stories, and can’t find any witnesses; the detectives were unable to locate the men that were in the bar. The detectives state they can’t do anything
because the coroner ruled Jeff’s death as natural due to other illness he had. Findlay detectives are doing NOTHING!! On April 18th 2011 I finally was able to contact one of the detectives he told me that they were unable to do anything else because of the coroners ruling. We met with the coroner on 02/25/2012; he assured my family that the detectives’ office would be in contact with us and to give it a week. We still have not received a call. I asked how they can ignore the fact that there was an assault, and all they say is “allegedly!” The city of Findlay Police Department has failed to bring justice to my husband and our family. We are very sorry for the family of Brandon Cohen; we know too well how it feels to be looked at and shrugged off as if what happened doesn’t matter. The city of Findlay, including the mayor’s office has been alerted of the neglect regarding my husband’s death, and still nothing gets done…no answers to our questions".Does this sound familiar ?
In 2007, there was a fatal stabbing to a 22 yr old Caucasian male at what used to be Brandy's nightclub. The incident took place on June 6th at about 2:30 am. Within minutes, Findlay had 5 police units on scene. As soon as Emt's arrived, they took the names of all witness’s, searched all nearby yards for evidence, and were off on a manhunt. Meanwhile, the victim was pronounced dead at 3 am, just a half hour after the stabbing. Seven hours after the original call, Aaron Hernandez (19) was found in McComb, a town outside of Findlay and promptly taken into custody. All of that took place Friday, Mr. Hernandez was brought in for his 1st court date Monday. I would have to say that is some great police work on their part. At least we know that they are quite capable........
Findlay has long been known for its eagerness to harass everyday people for minuet traffic violations, raking in the ticket profits. What once was a beautiful town to raise a family, has now turned into a high crime, large drug community, Brandon’s incident sounds pretty similar to the both reports. They have witness's, they have his injuries, they have a fight that actually started in the bar, giving them a much bigger audience. Bartenders, cook's, patrons, people who saw something, at least a description. Please support Brandon and his family standing up to the city and even the county, demanding justice for their son. Let's show them that they don't have the right to pick and choose what cases they actually want to pursue. Hancock County and the Findlay police do not have rights to pick the ethnicity or the economic status of the victim’s that get justice.
February 16th, family and friends are gathering at the bridge on Main St. to do a walk......Justice for Brandon Cohen. They will be walking from there to the police department and then on to the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office. Please take the time and sign this petition, if they get away with it once, who will be next? Our goal is to have at least 2,500 signatures by the 16th so his family can hand over a copy to both the police department and Mark Miller, lead prosecutor. We will continue the petition untill they make arrests.