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Police and fire

  • 7 left homeless, pet dead after nighttime fire
    A fire in the middle of the night left several people without a home and killed a family pet.
  • Apartment damaged in blaze
    A kitchen fire in an apartment at 734 Dolphin Drive, east of South Hanna Street, caused moderate smoke and fire damage early Saturday.
  • One killed in Hicksville crash
    James Cummings, 41, of Hicksville, Ohio, was killed in a two-vehicle crash Friday on State Route 2 east of Casebeer-Miller Road near Hicksville, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Accused batterer jailed in 2nd tire iron beating

– A Fort Wayne man accused of using a tire iron to beat two men on different occasions after he spotted them with an ex-girlfriend is facing a litany of criminal charges.

Allen County prosecutors formally charged Steven Lavolpa, 44, Friday with felony counts of battery, criminal recklessness and invasion of privacy – the second time they’ve charged him with those crimes in nearly two months.

In the prosecutors’ most recent filing, Lavolpa is accused of staking out his ex-girlfriend’s home Oct. 22 until a man staying the night there walked outside to retrieve a coffee cup from his car about 5:30 a.m.

Lavolpa then attacked that man with a tire iron, clubbing him about his shoulder after the man fell to the ground, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

That attack preceded one allegedly committed by Lavolpa on Oct. 28, when he followed his ex-girlfriend and a different man in a vehicle until they stopped. Lavolpa then approached with a tire iron and hit that man in the head, according to court documents.

In that case, Lavolpa is also charged with battery, criminal recklessness and invasion of privacy. His ex-girlfriend had a no-contact order against him at the time of the beating, court records said.

Lavolpa is also facing one count of being a habitual offender because of his extensive criminal history, which includes theft, domestic battery and drug-related arrests, according to court records.

He is currently being held in the Allen County Jail in lieu of more than $20,000 bail.

Area man accused of sex misconduct

A Warsaw man accused of having sexual contact with two teenagers last spring was arrested this week in Kosciusko County.

Franklin “Frankie” Lewis Engle, 33, was arrested Thursday on two preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Detectives allege Engle had sexual contact with the teens, ages 14 and 15, but provided no further specifics.

Police investigated the case for two months before arresting Engle, officials said. Engle was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Kosciusko County Jail.