Hamilton city council candidate injured in fight, named as suspect

A Hamilton City Council candidate and founder of Operation Pumpkin was involved in a physical altercation early Friday morning that included several people fighting in the street, according to police.

Jason Snyder, 41, was knocked to the ground during the incident that happened at about 12:50 a.m. in the 700 block of Buckeye Street, according to a police report. He was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital for treatment, the report says.

The report indicates at least five people were victims in the incident, and 911 callers told dispatchers there were as many as 10 people involved. Snyder is listed as a victim on the report, “but due to the cross complaint he is also being listed as a suspect in this incident,” the report says.

In a video statement posted to his campaign’s Facebook page, injuries to Snyder’s face are visible.

“This past Thursday after the candidate forum, I proceeded to set up for Operation Pumpkin and shortly after that I was involved in an incident where I was assaulted. I can’t elaborate a whole lot because it is an ongoing investigation,” Snyder says in the video. “But it just reaffirmed how much this city needs to be investing in our police and fire in order to continue to better our neighborhoods and make our neighborhood safer.”

He declined further comment when contacted by the Journal-News, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Before the incident, Jason’s brother, Justin Snyder, 40, called police on Thursday night and said he saw a person in a hooded sweatshirt walking a dog on his property in the 300 block of North Seventh Street. He saw the activity on a security camera while he was not at the home, according to a 911 call.

He later called police from the home and asked to speak with an officer, indicating he had problems with people burglarizing the house. He said the suspect he saw earlier on security camera was sitting across the street on the porch.

Dispatchers indicated an officer went to Justin Snyder’s house at 11:56 p.m. and found no one on the property. Justin Snyder requested an officer again respond. The fight happened before police arrived.

David Lowell Smith, 19, of Buckeye Street, told police he was sitting in his car when someone came over to his car with three other men and began pounding on it. Smith said he got out of the car, and the person who struck his car “got in his face and grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him.”

That is what started the fight, Smith said. He said he was not injured. Also listed on the report as being at the scene is Sean Moon, 19, of Sixth Street.

According to police, when officers arrived on the scene, Jason Snyder had a cut to his face and arms and “was laying on the ground, he also had a strong odor of alcohol about his person.”

Justin Snyder told police he suffered a cut to his hand. Jeffrey Snyder, father of Jason and Justin, later said he had been punched. Another man listed as a victim on the report, Tim Spoonster, said he suffered a cut to the nose.

“(Justin Snyder) states a Hispanic male, then later stated that a black male not on the scene attacked him with a knife, cutting his hand, but also states that the male had a gun that he pointed at himself and his family,” according to the police report. The report says Justin Snyder “had an odor of marijuana about his person.”

Spoonster told police Smith pushed Jason Snyder, which started the fight.

Police dispatchers received 12 calls about the incident, including one from Pam Snyder, mother of Justin and Jason.

“There is going to be a fight here pretty soon,” Pam Snyder said. “There has been vandalism at my son’s house and there is going to be a fight here.”

A distressed, out-of-breath male called 911 and said, “I need you here at 717 Buckeye Street immediately. We have just been assaulted by …” Then there is screaming on the call.

A man who identified himself as Justin Snyder called 911 and demanded police and medical personnel respond to the scene.

“One guy has got a gun,” Justin Snyder screamed. “I want all the (expletive) cops here right now.”

A female caller told a dispatcher she was watching from her security camera.

“They are fighting, they are killing each other,” the woman told the dispatcher. “They are waking my kid up.”

A male caller told the dispatcher there were about 10 people involved.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said no one has been charged in the incident.

“We are aware, and we are investigating the incident,” Bucheit said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The Journal-News attempted to contact those listed on the police report, Jeffrey Snyder and Moon were reached and declined comment. Others did not return messages.

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