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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
September 30, 2005

Police warn: Fugitive may prey on gay men

Columbus--Police are looking for a man who disappeared while on bond awaiting fraud charges, warning that he should be considered armed and dangerous after allegedly attacking a gay man in Columbus and stealing the identity of a gay Londoner.

Byrol Scott Pierce escaped while on a work release program awaiting trial in July 2004, and authorities say that the last confirmed sighting of him was in Columbus in late September 2004.

He is a white male, 28 years old, 5� 10� and 150 pounds.

The fraud charge is unrelated to his interaction with the gay community, but he is also wanted on a charge of attempted murder.

Police say Pierce met the Columbus man online and they met in person once. On their second meeting, which was on September 24, 2003, they went to dinner in German Village, then went to Berliner Park.

Pierce parked the car, and the victim bent over and started performing fellatio on him, according to Franklin County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Scott Kirschman.

The victim felt a �sting, a sharp pain in his back,� according to the police report, and look up to see that Pierce had a long, wooden-handled kitchen knife. Pierce then slashed the victim across the chest with the knife.

The attack was followed by a struggle which broke the blade off the handle, and Pierce was left with the piece of wood while his victim fled the car holding the knife blade.

The victim ran towards the lights of the softball diamonds, where a game was being held. Pierce twice tackled him, and the second time he put his fingers into the wound and pulled it open more.

�The victim is able to break free, there was a lot of blood going,� Kirschman said. �He runs towards the softball fields, and lucky for him there were some off-duty police officers.�

�The victim was able to give a recount and give the phone number of the defendant from there, and they were able to determine that it was Byrol Scott Pierce,� he concluded.

Within days, Kirshman said, Pierce cashed a large check he had taken from a client�s house while working for a home care company.

�This guy went on the run. He went to London, England,� Kirschman said. �The identity thefts were right around September 25, so it was immediately after [the attempted murder].�

�He was working for a home care company, Almost Family. He was working in the homes of these two elderly people,� he noted. �He had gone to their homes back in February 2003, and a $5,000 check had been taken.�

Kirschman said Pierce hooked up with another man in London. �They had a relationship, he asked Pierce to leave, and after Pierce left the victim discovered a passport and a bank card were missing.�

Pierce reentered the U.S. in February 2004, �and he was trying to pass some checks, and that�s when they caught him,� he said.

�He was on a work release and took off on July 13, 2004,� Kirschman noted. �He was seen last September in the Ohio State University area, but we�ve had the warrants and everything out for him and we�ve tried TV and it�s just time to step it up.�

�It�s actually quite disturbing that he�s still out there walking the streets, targeting people in our community,� said Gloria McCauley, executive director of the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization.

�There may be other people, but there�s been no indication of other attempted murder victims,� Kirschman said, explaining the sudden media coverage of the fugitive. �It�s now just to try every avenue we can.�

Anyone who sees Pierce should call police immediately. Those who believe they have encountered Pierce or been a victim of his thefts should call Detective James Day of the Columbus Police Department�s assault squad at 614-6454141.

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