Arson survivor to face assault charges

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The Mahoning County grand jury has indicted Julius Crawford, one of the survivors of a fire that killed six members of his family a few years ago, on three felony charges.

Crawford, 20, of Plazaview Court, has been charged with aggravated burglary, felonious assault and menacing by stalking. The grand jury handed up indictments this week.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said the charges stem from a severe beating Crawford is accused of giving to his 17-year-old former girlfriend.

Police reports say officers were sent to Saranac Avenue just before midnight Nov. 25. Family members of the home’s resident went inside the house and told officers the North Side home was “trashed and there was blood everywhere.”

Police found the teenage girl with physical signs of being beaten. The girl’s face and shirt were reportedly covered in blood. She also complained of hurt ribs, and there were specks of glass in her hair.

The 17-year-old victim told police she ended a relationship with Crawford, who had been calling her continuously. The girl said she was awakened the night of the attack to find Crawford standing over her in her upstairs bedroom.

The girl told police Crawford began calling her names and punching her. She told police she ran into a bathroom and locked the door, but Crawford kicked in the door and continued punching, kicking and elbowing her. She said he also threw a vase at her.

The girl eventually managed to run out of the house to a nearby relative’s home and call police. Crawford was arrested a short time later near his home.

Crawford previously had been arrested on a felonious charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle in a separate incident.

Crawford was arrested Jan. 20, 2009, when police approached the driver of a car he was in for a parking violation on West Marion Avenue. Police said they found a loaded .32-caliber handgun under Crawford’s seat and a small amount of marijuana in his jacket pocket.

Crawford pleaded no contest to the marijuana charge and was fined $50. He was placed on probation on the felony charge. His period of probation ended in April.

On Jan. 23, 2008, four children, who were members of Julius Crawford’s family, perished in the fire at 1645 Stewart Ave., along with their mother and grandmother. Julius and his sister managed to escape the blaze deliberately set by 18-year-old Michael A. Davis of Youngstown. Davis is in prison for life.