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Chief: Downtown Wheeling Is Safe

Police investigate beating death of businessman

October 19, 2010
By TYLER REYNARD

WHEELING - Hocutt's Carolina BBQ reopened Monday to honor the memory of its late owner, who was fatally beaten within sight of the establishment.

Despite the violent altercation that led to the death of Travis Hocutt, 37, Police Chief Robert Matheny still believes the downtown area is safe.

Hocutt died Friday at Ohio Valley Medical Center, about a week after being brutally assaulted.

Article Photos

Photo by Casey Junkins
Hocutt’s Carolina BBQ reopened Monday in honor of its slain owner, Travis Hocutt.

Matheny, speaking during a press conference Monday at police headquarters, said officers responded to a report of an injured man on the sidewalk in the area of 14th and Main streets at about 3 a.m. Oct. 9.

He said they found Hocutt hurt but conscious.

Matheny added there is a person of interest in the case, but he is not calling it a murder investigation.

Police Detective Jeffrey Griffith said the assault was the result of an argument that escalated drastically outside River City Ale Works.

Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith was expected to gain further information from an autopsy report Monday.

Matheny stressed the death was in no way related to Hocutt's business, Hocutt's Carolina BBQ, located at Main and 14th streets.

He added that a crime of this nature could have occurred anywhere.

To honor Hocutt's memory, the business reopened Monday. An employee, who declined to give his name, said Hocutt's widow wants to keep the business going as long as she can.

"She knows that's what he would have wanted," the employee said, though he added he did not know how long the store would remain in operation.

Staff Writer Casey Junkins contributed to this report.

 
 

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