WHEELING - Despite a violent altercation that resulted in the death of a local business owner, Wheeling Police Chief Robert Matheny still believes downtown Wheeling is safe.
This comes after Travis Hocutt, 37, died Friday at Ohio Valley Medical Center, about a week after being brutally assaulted.
Matheny, speaking during a news conference this morning at police headquarters, said officers responded to a report of an injured man on the sidewalk in the area of 14th and Main streets at about 3 a.m. Oct. 9. He said they found Hocutt hurt but conscious.
A downtown businessman was beaten
near his establishment at 14th and Main streets early Oct. 9 and died from his injuries.
(Photo by Scott McCloskey)
Matheny added there is a person of interest in the case but is not calling it a murder investigation.
Wheeling Police Detective Jeffrey Griffith said the assault was the result of an argument that escalated drastically outside of River City Ale Works.
Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith will gain further information from an autopsy report this afternoon.
Matheny stressed that the death was in no way related to Hocutt's business, Hocutt's Carolina BBQ, located at Main and 14th streets. He also added that a crime of this nature could have occurred anywhere.