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Police identify suspect in assault of bar manager in OTR parking lot

Police identify suspect accused of punching a woman in an unprovoked attack after a minor car accident (CPD)

OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (WKRC) - Cincinnati Police have filed a felonious assault charge for the Sunday morning attack that seriously injured the general manager of a popular Over-the-Rhine bar.

33-year-old Lucien Lanier is charged in the assault of Japp’s manager Jen Watts. He is still at large.

Police say Jennifer Watts saw Lanier involved in a minor accident in a parking lot on Sycamore Street early in the morning on June 10.

Police say Lanier punched Watts after she and a friend witnessed him hit another car. Witnesses say he got out of his car, punched Watts and knocked the cell phone from the hand a friend who was trying to take pictures of the fender bender.

Police say Lanier was involved in an altercation outside the Tree House Bar a few minutes before the assault. He and another man were arguing over who had the most tattoos. A detail officer and third shift patrol officer broke up the fight and captured Lanier’s image on a body camera. It made the case.

“By putting that out there some of our officers identified him (Lanier) and that’s how we were able to sign these charges,” said Cincinnati Police spokesman Lt. Steve Saunders. “We do have confirmation that he’s the one responsible for this heinous act and we do want him to be held accountable.”

Watts, who was walking to her car with a co-worker after leaving Japp’s, hit her head on the pavement after being struck. She suffered a brain hemorrhage that forced surgeons to temporarily remove part of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain. She has recovered quickly enough to be released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Lanier has a history of assault. He recently served three years for assault. A 2006 affidavit details how he knocked a woman’s tooth out and hit her boyfriend with a brick.

Police are asking anyone with information about Lucien Lanier’s whereabouts to contact CrimeStoppers at 513.352-3040.

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