CLEVELAND, OH – An 80-year-old East Cleveland couple narrowly-escaped being burned to death in their home at 14105 Orinoco Road after a murderous arsonist torched the front and rear doors of their residence on August 21st. The tactic is similar to one lawless soldiers and terrorists disregarding rules of conflict use to massacre unarmed civilians or drive out “holed in” enemy combatants.
It was used by “unionists” in East Saint Louis, Illinois on July 6, 1917 to aid in the extermination of more than 1000 American Negro men, women and children. Homes were torched and the fleeing families were shot, beaten, stabbed and burned to death.
The 80-year-old couple, Alphonso and Barbara Isom, were rescued by East Cleveland firefighters who extinguished the flames enough to enter their home and carry them out. Witnesses say the arsonist torched both doors and somewhat casually remained to watch before fleeing on foot to avoid law enforcement authorities.
Fingers pointed to ex-Iraq war veteran and East Cleveland councilman Timothy Ray Austin.after it was learned he had been involved in a dispute with them two days earlier. The first term councilman who showed up out of nowhere claiming East Cleveland roots to seek elected office in 2017 wanted $1200 more than what he’d bid for a small home repair job and was refusing to finish the work.
The sub-contractor he’d hired to actually perform the work told Austin he had to honor the agreement and that the bid price was okay. Austin walked off the job. The greedy politician wasn’t having it.
EJBNEWS was alerted to the story the day after the fire. Austin’s name, then, was circulating as a suspect because of his confrontation with the couple earlier.
During an August 23rd news conference at the home Austin arrived to observe. Councilman Ernest Smith admitted that he introduced Austin to the Isom’s. The politican police arrested for operating a strip joint and selling liquor without a license from a bar the state closed told reporter Scott Noll from WEWS TV5 he had nothing to do with the couple after the introduction. Smith seemed to throw Austin under the bus when he told reporters the perpetrator and the person who “ordered” the execution-style arson needed to held accountable.
Austin’s sub-contractor was more direct. He called the act “attempted murder” in front of witnesses and reporters. The contractor said Austin claimed to be in church when he texted to let him know about the fire. The sub-contractor said “Satan goes to church.”
“You know you did this,” he did told Austin. The ex-military man denied it.
Sources close to the family say they’re asking for outside law enforcement agencies and the Ohio Fire Marshall to investigate the arson. They don’t trust East Cleveland officials since a member of council with armed forces combat training is who the accusations of attempted murder are being directed. Members of the family were in disbelief when Austin arrived at the home.
Mayor Brandon King’s administration is known for covering up for its two uncertified police chiefs: one with two felony indictments he pleaded down to misdemeanors which prevents him from discharging a law enforcement officer’s duties.
Police never investigated Smith’s use of the city vehicle he has no legal authority to drive to transport underaged strippers to the closed Club Dew Drop.
A gun arrest of Cleveland mayoral candidate and councilman Basheer Jones disappeared without his ever appearing before Judge William Dawson.
Council Vice President and mayoral candidate Juanita Gowdy’s aide and East Cleveland Sunrise co-publisher, Justyn Anderson, provided EJBNEWS with the photographs and on the scene report. The family has been advised to seek a restraining order against Austin and other uncertified East Cleveland officials from entering their property or involving themselves in the investigation.
Federal, state and county law enforcement officials are being asked for help.