Two indicted for attack on activist

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 4, 2021

Two men have been indicted for alleged attacks on an anti-animal cruelty activist in early January.

In indictments handed down by the Lawrence County Grand Jury, James V. Newcomb, 54, Waterloo, was indicted on two counts of second-degree felony assault, one count of third-degree felony tampering with evidence and one count of fifth-degree felony theft, for an attack on Steve Hindi.
Shannon Clark, 35, Waterloo, was indicted for one count of second-degree felony assault, one count of fifth-degree felony theft and one count of third-degree felony tampering with evidence in an alleged attack on Hindi.

Hindi is the president of SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, an anti-animal cruelty group that videotapes incidents of cockfighting and other animal abuse.)

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He and another man were investigating allegations of cockfighting taking place at a farm near Waterloo on the morning of Jan 3.

A call was made to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office dispatch that one person was assaulted and one person was missing after a confrontation with people where the alleged cockfighting was taking place.

The responding deputy met with an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper at the 2000 block of County Road 4 about a crash.

The trooper said the crash was intentional and the deputy talked with the driver, Adam Fahnestock, who said he and Hindi drove through the gates of farm on Township Road 267 when people noticed they were filming. He said Hindi was assaulted by a man dressed in black.

The pair got into their vehicles and drove away. Fahnestock was followed by tan truck, which followed their rental vehicle for several miles and that it was “hammered several times in the rear of the vehicle, forcing him into a ditch.”

Hindi was taken to St. Mary’s emergency room, where he had staples put in his head for a large laceration. He also had broken ribs.

He told the deputy that he was at the entrance to the cockfight when he was attacked by at least two men who kicked him in the head and ribs. He got away, but was followed and attacked again. The men took his video camera. He also had a video camera, body cameras and drone controller taken away from him earlier.

Summons for Newcomb and Clark were issued on Feb. 25 and no court appearance has been set yet.