Bloomington man charged with rape and confinement

H-T Report October 4, 1993 A 26-year-old Bloomington man is charged with raping a woman and then preventing her from leaving her apartment for several hours, Bloomington police report.

Gary Cushinberry, 26, who does not have an address, was being held in Monroe County Jail on preliminary charges of rape, a class B felony; criminal deviate conduct, a class D felony; and criminal confinement, a class D felony. His bond has been set at $20,000. According to a report filed by Detective James Haverstock, the attacker knew the victim. The report states that the attacker entered the victim's apartment on North Lincoln Street at about 10 a.m. Saturday and raped her. She attemped to defend herself but he held her throat to the floor, which caused her to have trouble breathing. The victim's 3-year-old daughter was present when the rape began but the attacker ordered her from the room. He attempted to rape the woman a second time but was unsuccessful, the report said. After the rape, the attacker followed the victim about the apartment and prevented her from leaving, the report said. Later he forced her to take a nap with him and her daughter. After the attacker fell asleep, the woman escaped from the apartment and ran to a bus stop to call the police. The victim, who is 25, told police the attacker has abused her several times in the past but she has not reported the incidents to the police because the attacker has threatened to kill her.

Copyright: 1993

Man pleads not guilty to confinement
H-T Report October 6, 1993 A Bloomington man appeared in court Tuesday on a charge of confinement after a woman reported she was raped and held in her apartment for several hours on Oct. 2.

Gary Cushinberry, 26, of 1119 N. Washington St., appeared before Monroe Circuit Judge E. Michael Hoff and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of confinement.

His bond was reduced to $2,000 from $20,000 but he is being held in Monroe County Jail for 15 days in connection with a violation of probation violation in Kentucky. Cushinberry was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of rape and confinement. According to deputy prosecutor Kathy Burns, no rape charge will be filed at this point because she is unable to get an account from victim of what happened. Burns said she has some questions about the circumstances of the alleged incident.

Evansville man charged with rape, confinement, battery, fraud
H-T Report April 1, 1995

An Evansville man was arrested early Friday after a woman reported she was raped at an East 17th Street apartment. Gary R. Cushinberry, 27, was booked into Monroe County Jail at 12:36 a.m. on preliminary charges of rape, confinement, battery and a warrant charging him with fraud. He was held on $20,000 bond. The arrest was made after a 27-year-old woman reported about 11 p.m. Thursday that she had been raped by a male acquaintance, according to a report filed by officer Tom Ballard of the Bloomington Police Department. The woman told police the man grabbed and choked her and then raped her in her apartment, the report said. Her 5-year-old daughter was in the apartment at the time of the attack, police said. After the incident, the woman went to a nearby apartment to call police, the report said. The officers found Cushinberry alone in the woman's apartment a short time later and arrested him, the report said.

Chess challenge set for Saturday
Players checking into Peoples Park for Bloomington's version of the midnight basketball program

By Lisa Sorg July 11, 1996

It's been called the game of kings and the king of games - now chess has captured the minds of Peoples Park regulars.

On a shady summer's evening, the east side of the park overflows with chess fans, who with their foreheads drawn as tightly as corsets, intently plot their next moves. The strategy of chess is simple, said 20-year-old Jeremiah Junker. "Get as much firepower on the board before the other guy does," Junker said. "And then mow them over." Peoples Park patrons and other fans of the game will break out their rooks, pawns and bishops in a chess challenge Saturday as they compete against themselves and a city official. The challenge will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Peoples Park. Although a police officer was originally slated to compete, Randy Lloyd of the mayor's office will represent the department in the mental and strategic duel. With the loss of four officers from the police department this year, Capt. Randy Williamson said his department couldn't spare anyone for the challenge. "I think it's a good idea so we can interact with the kids. I don't have a problem getting somebody down there, but they can't do it while they're working," Williamson said. "It's hard to pull somebody free. We're having to work overtime." The idea for any type of challenge germinated last summer, Junker said, and it is coming to fruition a year later. "I thought it would be kind of interesting to take the police on in a game that is a fair level sport," Junker said. "In basketball you've got people playing that are seven feet tall." So when people began coming to the park last spring with chessboards tucked under their arms, Junker suggested a chess challenge to 48-year-old park player Roger Butland. "My role has been to teach people how to play chess," Butland said. "It's a nice diversion on summer evenings. There are sometimes 15 or 20 games in a night." Although last year's pat-down created strife between the police and park patrons, Williamson said the area has presented few problems for officers this summer. With goals similar to those of the midnight basketball program, Saturday's chess challenge could likewise ease tensions in Peoples Park, Williamson said. "The idea is to show both sides," Junker said. "Communication would be important and maybe the tournament would be an icebreaker."

Local chess champion Gary Cushinberry, whose 6-year-old daughter will play in the challenge, agrees chess has served as an intellectual pursuit and a healthy outlet for parkgoers. "It's a war on a board," Cushinberry, 28, said. "You don't have to fight with knives or sticks. Give them credit for competition and spirit without fighting." Cushinberry often advises novice chess players on advanced strategies of the game. "He's let me take back a lot of moves," said 23-year-old Tiffany Segan, who first played the game in Dublin, Ireland. Cushinberry said he is looking forward to Saturday's challenge, for the sheer fun of playing and sharing the game with others. "This game has the power to make men and women happy," Cushinberry said.

Man charged with fondling woman
Sunday Herald-Times November 2, 1997 A Bloomington man was arrested on charges of sexual battery after police said he put his hands down a woman's Halloween costume while she was dancing at a night club early Saturday morning.

Gary Cushinberry, 30, of 3200 Longview, was booked into the Monroe County Jail on the class D felony charge. According to Bloomington police officer Kevin Hill's report, Cushinberry is charged with coming up behind a 23-year-old woman, who was dancing, putting his hands in her panties and touching her indecently. Hill said he saw Cushinberry walking through a crowd of people standing in the doorway of the bar. Cushinberry denied being in the bar or ever seeing the woman.

Police ask witnesses to come forward
H-T Report November 4, 1997

Bloomington police are asking any possible sexual assault victims or witnesses to a sexual battery at a night club early Saturday morning to come forward.

Gary Cushinberry, 30, of 3200 Longview, was booked into Monroe County Jail Saturday morning on a class D felony charge of sexual battery. He was released Sunday after posting $4,000 bond. He was charged in connection with an incident in which a man put his hands inside the costume of a woman dancing at the Mars Night Club, touching her indecently. Police said a witness who told the victim his name was "Jason," and who was dressed as a pregnant woman with blonde hair, told her he witnessed the incident. They are asking that this man contact Bloomington police with any information he might have on the incident. They are asking any other women who believe they were similarly assaulted early Saturday to contact Bloomington police.

May 20, 2000 (H-T) The following convictions in connection with felony charges, driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving with a .10 blood-alcohol content (BAC) have been recorded in Monroe Circuit Court: y Gary R. Cushinberry, 32, 3200 Longview Ave., guilty of misdemeanor battery with felony counts of criminal recklessness and battery resulting in serious injury in connection with a jail altercation on Jan. 10 dismissed by plea agreement.

June 2, 2001 (H-T) y JAIL BOOKINGS
y Gary R. Cushinberry, 33, 2526 Basswood Lane, arrested Friday by Bloomington police on a preliminary charge of driving while intoxicated; booked into Monroe County Jail at 2:47 a.m. Bond set at $1,000 surety and $500 cash.

Oct. 7, 2002 JAIL BOOKINGS (H-T)

Gary Cushinberry, 35, 2526 Spicewood Lane, arrested Sunday by Bloomington police on preliminary charges of battery and resisting law enforcement; booked into Monroe County Jail at 3:30 a.m., bond set at $1,000 surety and $500 cash.

On your marks, get set


Some bargain hunters get up early, stand in line

By Bethany Swaby Herald-Times Staff Writer November 29, 2003 Cash registers were ringing merrily all over Bloomington Friday.

On what many consider the biggest shopping day of the year, parking spots were hard to come by and the lines were long, but most shoppers appeared to be enjoying themselves. "It's tradition. We go every year," said Bloomington resident Paula Ratliff while she waited for her mother outside KB Toys in College Mall, peering out at the bustling crowds over a cart full of sacks and bags. "For as long as I can remember, we've done it." Ratliff and her mother, Sharon Freeman, got up at 4 a.m. and were in line at Bloomington WalMart by about 5:30 a.m. They waited about 30 minutes out in the cold before they got into the store, but "it was totally worth it," Ratliff said. She bought a DVD player for $25, a $40 bike for her daughter and a $25 bike for her son. Once inside the packed store, she and her mom used their secret shopping weapon ² a technique Ratliff likes to call "tag-team" shopping. Here's how it works: Freeman guards their shopping cart while Ratliff looks for what she needs, thereby avoiding the hassle of navigating the crowded aisles with a full cart while keeping her hard-won collection safe from folks who might help themselves while her back is turned. Other shoppers weren't quite so brave. John and Sharon Harrell of Bloomington said they arrived at KB Toys shortly after 5 a.m., but saw the line snaking through the mall and left. They came back later, and walked out with a Barbie cruise ship, Polly Pocket set, Bratz doll and some Barbie clothes for the grandkids.

"Now we're going home to put up the Christmas tree," Sharon Harrell said, carefully stowing her receipt in her purse. Bedford resident Gail Sears decided to stick to the west side for her shopping excursion. At Old Navy, she said, she purchased fleece sweatshirts and gift certificates. She'd also been to Kmart and Rack Room Shoes. The stores seemed busy, she said, and "parking was crazy." The westside Old Navy store opened a half-hour early because a line had formed before its scheduled 7 a.m. opening time, front end supervisor Stacy Taylor said. Had it been busy? "Oh my God, yeah," he said, harried but still cheerful. "No question." In less than four hours, he said, the store sold completely out of its "doorbuster" special ² a $1 fleece scarf available to shoppers who bought other items. Bloomington resident Martha Osborn left her husband in the car while she ran into Bed, Bath & Beyond in Whitehall Crossing to pick up something she'd spotted on sale in a circular ² a small cooler that plugs into a car outlet. "We travel a lot," she said. "And it was $5 off." Closer to downtown, Bloomington resident Kevin McCormick had his eye on a suede Gucci sweat suit at Worlds Fare on South Walnut Street. "They've got some pretty good stuff in here," he said. "There's no other stores with clothes like this." The store, open since summer, offers an eclectic variety of clothing, watches and hats as well as various ethnic items from around the world. CEO Gary Cushinberry has a unique approach for handling the shopping crowds ² all shoppers have to be buzzed into his store. That way, he can keep track of who is in the store as well as allow shoppers already inside enough time to look at everything without feeling rushed, he said. "We're pretty busy all the time," Cushinberry said. "People are stopping by all the time because our product line is so wide." Reporter Bethany Swaby can be reached at 331-4373 or by e-mail at

Eclectic shops pop up south of square
By Brian Werth Herald-Times Business Editor February 25, 2004 Over the past several years, the 300 block of South Walnut Street south of the courthouse square in Bloomington has evolved into a busy cluster of retail shops with a distinctly urban feel.

World's Fare/Kush's Kingdom, which opened last year at 342 S. Walnut St., features clothing, accessories, artifacts and jewelry from around the world. To get into the small store, patrons must ring a doorbell, which is answered by owner Gary Cushinberry. "The bell allows us to keep track of who is coming and going," Cushinberry said. "This is a hightech business atmosphere that we have here. It's a different age, and this is a different store. It isn't Wal-Mart." Cushinberry travels to many exotic locations to buy merchandise that he sells in his store. There are statues and drums from Ghana, swords from Japan and China, handbags and silks from Thailand and beads from Jamaica. The clothing, for women and men, is big on throwback jerseys and fashion denim jeans. "We also sell wigs," Cushinberry said. "Not too many other stores do." Other relatively new shops in the area include the Glimpse of Nature exotic fish and fish supply store at 346 S. Walnut St., and Summer House, a used-furniture and accessory shop, at 350 S. Walnut St. Also in the area on the same side of the street is the popular costume shop Costume Delights at 336 S. Walnut St. Talisha Coppock, director of Bloomington's downtown commission, said the group of shops adds character to the downtown. "It's a neat little area," she said. "To have those unusual shops together that are easy to walk to is great for downtown. They complement each other." Coppock said she would like to see some public investment in the area to make it look more attractive. "We need to do a little work on the streetscape in that area to make it even more accessible," she said. "It's our southern gateway to downtown, in a way." Business Editor Brian Werth can be reached at 331-4375 or by e-mail at

Man accused of sexual assault at wife's restaurant
By Katy Murphy Herald-Times Staff Writer December 4, 2004 The Siam House restaurant had been dark and closed for hours when a man brought an intoxicated 23year-old woman inside, saying her friend was there.

But the restaurant was empty. And the woman later told police that the man she had met briefly at the Upstairs Pub early that morning sexually assaulted her. Police later identified the man as Gary Cushinberry, 37, who is married to the owner of the restaurant, according to a probable-cause affidavit written by Bloomington police detective Kevin Hill. The woman said that when she was at the Upstairs Pub after a night of bar-hopping, Cushinberry overheard her asking where her friend had gone. She told police that Cushinberry approached her and said he knew where her friend was, and that he led her to the Fourth Street restaurant, according to Bloomington police reports. Cushinberry, who owns the World's Fare store in the 300 block of South Walnut Street, was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging sexual assault, a felony, and being a habitual offender. He has since been released from the Monroe County Jail on a $25,000 surety bond. Cushinberry has had a longstanding relationship with the criminal justice system. He has been arrested at least 17 times in Monroe County since 1985 on charges ranging from burglary and theft to domestic battery and rape ² in addition to arrests on charges of failure to appear and driving-related offenses, according to jail records. Cushinberry served a year and a half in the state prison system in the mid-1990s for a felony residential entry conviction. But several of the felony charges against him, including sexual battery and rape, resulted in dismissals or misdemeanor battery convictions, according to court records. Hill stated in his police report that Cushinberry denied having been at the Upstairs Pub on the October day the assault was reported. He also denied having been alone in the Siam House with a woman, the report said. Reporter Katy Murphy can be reached at 331-4378 or by e-mail at

'World's Fare' spot tucked inside Walnut Street boutique
On the Menu

by Susan Brackney April 13, 2005 Don't let the assortment of sporty dresses and hip handbags throw you off.

Once you weave your way through Gary R. Cushinberry's boutique at 342 S. Walnut, you'll find his newest venture ² World's Fare. "We have world food. The menu consists of African dishes, Jamaican dishes, European dishes, Asian dishes and Mexican dishes. It's World's Fare. It's world food," Cushinberry explained. Some of the most notable items on the menu include Jamaican curried goat, Jamaican bammy bread, spicy pumpkin soup and fried banana hors devours. Diners can also opt for polish sausage, jerk pork, barbecued beef, barbecued rib tips and sandwiches such as Cushinberry's lamb hoagie. "Everybody thinks of lamb as gyro but, gyro is like the bologna of lamb. Nobody really serves a lamb sandwich here in town that's like this," he said. Additionally, World's Fare offers daily lunch specials that come with your choice of meat and baked potato or chips along with salad and a drink. Outdoor patio seating is available, and World's Fare is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
New BuffaLouie's open soon

During a recent sneak preview of the newest BuffaLouie's location ² BuffaLouie's at the Gables at 114 S. Indiana Ave.² I found out owner Jay Lieser expects to be open for business April 21 or 22. Along with autographed IU sports- and Bob Knight-related memorabilia, photos of Hoagy Carmichael and other greats line the walls; you'll even see Hoagy Carmichael's original "Stardust" sheet music inside. What's more, Lieser has installed a juke box complete with blues, jazz and popular favorites by John Mellencamp and, yes, Hoagy Carmichael. Five high-definition televisions are also scattered throughout the restaurant, and each table is equipped with an individual television controller so that diners may tune to the channel of their choice. BuffaLouie's at the Gables will serve beer and wine in addition to its standard barbecue specialties and will open daily at 11 a.m.

DeAngelo's recognizes moms

DeAngelo's at 2620 E. 3rd St. is now taking reservations for Mother's Day and graduation. Mothers dining at DeAngelo's on Sunday, May 8, will each receive one complimentary gift certificate. A $10 value, the gift certificate may be used on Mom's next visit.
Spring menu at Applebee's

Beginning April 25, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar at 2894 E. Third St. will serve up several new items for spring including shrimp 'n Parmesan sirloin, grilled Oriental chicken salad, teriyaki steak and shrimp skewers and a Jalapeno-Jack chicken sandwich. Applebee's also will add a new Thai chicken pizza ² that's a flour tortilla crust topped with Thai peanut sauce, shredded pepper-Jack cheese, chipotle chicken, red onion, shredded cabbage, carrots and cilantro ² as well as their black and bleu burger, a Cajun-seasoned, eight-ounce burger served with lettuce, onions, tomato, bacon and a bleu cheese topping. Finally, Applebee's own crispy orange chicken and chicken and broccoli pasta Alfredo bowls are also on the way. The crispy orange chicken bowl features breaded chicken breast in an orange glaze served over almond rice pilaf with mushrooms, broccoli, red peppers, sugar snap peas and shredded carrots. As for the chicken and broccoli pasta Alfredo bowl, you get your choice of grilled Italian or blackened chicken on fettuccine tossed with broccoli in Alfredo sauce and garnished with diced tomatoes and shredded Parmesan. E-mail your own restaurant news, menu special or local food industry news to Susan at

Sex assault charges dropped because of prosecution delay
By Marcela Creps 331-4375 | March 29, 2007 A Bloomington businessman is no longer facing sexual battery charges stemming from a 2004 assault on a local woman, the Monroe County Prosecutor s Office says.

Gary Cushinberry, 39, was arrested in December 2004 after a 23-year-old woman reported he sexually assaulted her in a closed restaurant. The woman told police she was looking for a friend when Cushinberry told her that her friend was at the restaurant where the assault took place. Cushinberry was charged with sexual battery and being a habitual offender. The charges were filed by the previous prosecutor, who left office in 2006. Cushinberry¶s trial has been canceled and the charges dropped, however. ³The case is being dismissed,´ Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said today.

Miller explained that Cushinberry¶s attorney filed a motion to dismiss under speedy trial rules and the prosecutor had to comply. Too much time had passed since the charges were filed, Miller said.

Charges dropped in sexual battery case
Local businessman Gary Cushinberry wins dismissal of charges after trial date put off for more than 1 1/2 years

By Marcela Creps 331-4375 | March 30, 2007 The Monroe County prosecutor s office is dropping charges against a Bloomington businessman accused of sexual battery.

Gary Cushinberry, 39, was arrested in December 2004 after a 23-year-old woman reported he sexually assaulted her. The woman told police she was looking for a friend when Cushinberry told her that her friend was in a nearby restaurant, and the assault took place in the restaurant. ³The case is being dismissed,´ Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said Thursday. Cushinberry, who owns the Worlds Fare store on South Walnut Street, was charged with sexual battery and being a habitual offender. The charges were filed under previous Prosecutor Carl Salzmann, with the case being handled by former Deputy Prosecutor Lynda Robison. Miller explained that Cushinberry¶s attorney filed a motion to dismiss under an Indiana speedytrial rule that limits the time between when charges are filed and a trial. According to court records, the trial date was initially set for Sept. 26, 2005, but was reset because discovery depositions had not been completed. The second trial date was March 13, 2006, but was reset to accommodate another defendant¶s speedy-trial motion. The third trial was set for Sept. 18, 2006, but was canceled because of the court¶s calendar. On Nov. 29, 2006, the court set the trial for March 29, 2007. Miller said the motion to dismiss was investigated because, even with a change in administration, he didn¶t understand why the case wasn¶t brought to trial sooner. He said the ever-changing trial dates should have called attention to the ticking clock. Salzmann left office at the end of last year. ³It appears to me that some action should have been taken in this case in late 2005 or in early 2006,´ Miller said. ³Clearly, it is the prosecutor¶s office¶s responsibility to ensure these cases are brought to trial within that same period of time.´

Cushinberry maintained he was innocent of all charges. Although he owns Worlds Fare and his wife owns Siam House, he was granted a public defender.

When serious charges are dropped, explanation is due
Herald-Times March 31, 2007 Criminal charges against a Bloomington man accusing him of sexual battery and being a habitual sex offender were dismissed this week by the Monroe County prosecutor s office.

Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said the charges were dropped because the defendant was not brought to trial soon enough. When Gary Cushinberry was arrested in December 2004, he had already been arrested at least 17 times on charges that included sexual battery, rape and burglary. Several of those charges were dismissed, but Cushinberry served a year and a half in the state prison system in the mid-1990s for a felony residential entry conviction. While the current case on its face appears to be one that the prosecution might have pursued diligently, Cushinberry¶s trial was rescheduled several times. Indiana¶s speedy-trial rule requires that a defendant released on his own recognizance be tried within one year from the date charges are filed, unless delays are due to the defendant¶s own motions or congestion of the court calendar, in which case the time period is adjusted. This explains how a defendant might be tried more than a year after being charged but still be considered to be within the speedy-trial period. An explanation from the prosecutor as to how the one-year period was calculated in this case would be helpful in determining whether the delays were actually due to prosecutorial neglect. But because the current prosecutor¶s office agreed to dismiss before the court could rule on the defendant¶s motion for speedy trial, it¶s difficult to determine whether the case was a clear-cut violation of the speedy-trial rule. And if there are unrevealed reasons why the case was not pursued more aggressively, the public should know about those reasons, as well. When a defendant is charged with serious charges such as sexual battery and being a habitual offender, for the sake of public safety ² as well as the constitutional rights of the defendant ² the case should move more quickly through the criminal justice system, whether ultimately to trial or dismissal.

Strip owners sue Siam House

Nov. 22, 2008
Jeff Wiehe
The Journal Gazette

Its owner was said to be in a coma as of last month. Its former manager is facing a charge of theft, accused of partly gutting its insides. And now a lawsuit filed in Allen Superior Court seeks to immediately repossess Fort Wayne¶s version of a Thai restaurant popular among Indiana University students and townies three hours south in Bloomington. Pine Valley Associates filed the suit Wednesday against Gary Cushinberry and Wemonrat Pok, doing business as Siam House, located in a strip mall at 10350 Coldwater Road. Cushinberry and Wemonrat entered into a lease with Pine Valley Associates in October 2007 but have ³failed to pay said rent payments in a timely fashion´ for the past two months of this year and owe more than $4,600, according to the suit. Pok, though, was in a coma as recently as Oct. 22 stemming from an incident in Fort Wayne, her daughter told the Herald Times of Bloomington. Cushinberry, meanwhile, was booked into the Allen County Lockup on a charge of theft this week. He¶s accused of taking two stoves and a deep fryer from the restaurant, valued about $3,000 total, and selling them to an unnamed person for $600. ³The defendant is a former manager of the Siam House and his name appears on the lease but he has no contractual interest or ownership to the business,´ Cushinberry¶s probable cause affidavit says. The 41-year-old Bloomington resident has since posted $2,500 bond and has been released. Pok also owns the Siam House in Bloomington, a widely liked haunt located with several other ethnic restaurants along East Fourth Street. When she was at the Fort Wayne restaurant on Oct. 1, though, she suffered a head injury that nearly killed her. Fort Wayne police were called to the restaurant that night and found Cushinberry kneeling over a prone Pok on the sidewalk 15 feet from the door, according to police reports. Cushinberry was yelling Pok¶s name and slapping her, trying to wake her up, according to the reports. Officers stopped Cushinberry from further hitting Pok, and she was taken to Parkview Hospital with a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. Hospital staff deemed those injuries in the reports as ³suspicious´ and ³highly unusual in a person with no health or intoxication issues.´ Police, however, are not investigating any criminal charges regarding any incident involving Cushinberry.

An officer who reached Cushinberry and Pok first wrote in his report, ³I was told that they were walking towards the door when she suddenly (slammed) down and fell backwards and then that her head struck the concrete.´ Later at Parkview, though, Cushinberry told police he was inside with customers at the time of Pok¶s fall. She was standing outside looking into the restaurant when she took a step back and fell, possibly due to her heel being caught in a crack in the sidewalk, he said in the reports. Pok¶s daughter, Soryia Pok-Todd, is also named as a defendant in Pine Valley Associates¶ lawsuit but solely in the capacity of her mother¶s guardian. She claimed in the police reports that Pok and Cushinberry were merely dating. Cushinberry provided documentation showing the two were married, according to the reports. Pok-Todd could not be reached for comment Friday, but told the Herald Times in a story published Oct. 23 that her mother had been moved from Fort Wayne to an acute-care facility outside Indiana.

Tips sought in injury of Siam House owner
By Mercedes Rodriguez 331-4370 | January 14, 2009 Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers is focusing on the case of Wim Pok, owner of Bloomington s Siam House Restaurant, who has been in a coma since Oct. 1 after what the organization s bulletin called a suspicious head injury.

Pok, who is in an acute care facility outside of Indiana, is slowly improving according to her daughter, Soriya Todd. ³She¶s had good days and bad days,´ she said. Todd said her mother is able to move ² and can even wiggle her fingers and toes on command ² but she is not yet fully conscious. Todd said her goal is to get her mother well enough to take her home. Details of the case appeared on Fort Wayne television and in both the city¶s newspapers in December, according to Greg Lewis, executive director of Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers. Pok suffered a traumatic brain injury outside of a restaurant she had recently started there. Case reports from Fort Wayne state that police on the scene observed a man kneeling over Pok, holding her head. The man was questioned by police the following day. In another report, the man told police that Pok went outside and ³was standing near the door looking back into the restaurant and that she

apparently took a step backward and her shoe heel possible [sic] caught in a crack on the sidewalk. He advised that she fell backward, apparently unable to catch herself.´ Lewis said Fort Wayne police asked Crime Stoppers to release the bulletin, which was featured as its ³Crime of the Week´ Dec. 8. ³The people at the hospital felt from day one that this is not just a fall,´ Lewis said. Lewis said they have received a number of calls, but only one so far has produced a possible witness. In spite of the Crime Stoppers bulletins, Fort Wayne police public information officer Michael Joyner says the investigation is ³not criminal in nature.´ They are looking for ³anyone that might have seen the alleged fall,´ he said. In November, a small claims case was filed in Allen County involving Pok and Gary Cushinberry, the man who police questioned in connection to the injury. The Fort Wayne Siam House¶s landlords sued the two, whose names are both on the property¶s lease, for nonpayment of rent for October and November of 2008 in the amount of $4,638 and nonpayment of trash expenses in the amount of $435. The Fort Wayne restaurant is now closed. Todd says the family is attempting to resolve the small claims matter.

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