Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Hilltop Creeper" Arrested In Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Sex Offender Confesses To Nearly 19 Break-Ins
Re-printed from a story at The Columbus Dispatch on September 26th 2012

Ohio Sex Offender Deneen Black confesses to Columbus police to nearly 19 bizarre break-ins.

Columbus police watched a man prowling alleys and looking in windows of Hilltop houses from mid-August until his arrest yesterday on a charge that he is the “Hilltop Creeper,” a detective said at a news conference this morning.

Deneen Black, 32, didn’t try to enter the houses, but if he had, police would have arrested him on the spot, Sgt. David Pelphrey said.

Instead, police continued to build a case against Black. His predawn behavior during many mornings was odd enough that officers went to his Hilltop house at 217 S. Wheatland Ave. at 12:15 p.m. yesterday, Pelphrey said.

“Mr. Black did indeed exhibit behavior that we’ve attributed to the 'Hilltop Creeper',” he said.

Black gave police information that makes them confident he is responsible for most if not all of the 19 incidents linked to the creeper, Pelphrey said.

The break-ins started in December of 2011. The last one was on August 10th 2012.

Black appeared briefly in Franklin County Municipal Court this morning, then was escorted out after Judge Ted Barrows granted a public defender’s request to waive his appearance. Bail was set at $100,000.

He is charged with a July 18th 2012 burglary at a house on Sullivant Avenue. The charge accuses him of entering through a window and touching the lips of a sleeping 23-year-old woman.

The case followed the pattern of other break-ins on the Hilltop and sometimes in Franklinton. In most, the man went into a woman’s bedroom and she woke to find him watching her sleep. In six of the cases, the man touched the woman, sometimes on her legs, breasts or lips. One case involved a teenage girl.

The court complaint says police were able to match Black’s fingerprints to prints taken from the window at the Sullivant Avenue house.

Black “made admissions to this criminal act along with multiple other similar criminal acts in West Side/Franklinton/Hilltop neighborhoods,” according to the complaint read in court.

Convicted sex offender Deneen Black's residence where he was arrested at 217 South Wheatland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio.

More charges will be filed, said Pelphrey, who has headed the Creeper investigation for the sexual-assault unit.

Black’s Wheatland Avenue home is in the middle of where many of the incidents occurred, with a few of the houses just a street away.

Black is a registered sex offender from a 2004 conviction for sexual battery. He has a “violent criminal history,” according to the court complaint, with multiple robbery convictions in the Chicago area.

According to the Franklin County sheriff’s office, Black is registered as a sexually oriented offender for the sexual-battery conviction. He pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to the charge, a fourth-degree felony, in 2004 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

After getting out of prison, he was arrested again in 2006 on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. He eventually pleaded guilty to having a weapon under disability, meaning he wasn’t allowed to have a gun because he’s a convicted felon. He was sentenced to a year in prison on that charge.

Black was arrested again in 2009 for failure to give notice of his change of address, something that is required because he’s a sexually oriented offender. He was placed on two years of probation after pleading guilty to that charge.

The Columbus Dispatch, Police Kept ‘Hilltop Creeper’ Suspect Under Surveillance
New York Daily News, Ohio Cops Nab ‘Hilltop Creeper’