New suspect named
Suspects were videotaped in the act of committing an array of apparent state, local, and federal offenses.
WATERLOO, Ohio––Showing Animals Respect & Kindness [SHARK] at 9:35 a.m. west coast time on January 5, 2021 posted video of alleged cockfighters violently assaulting SHARK founder Steve Hindi two days earlier, destroying SHARK equipment, and running a second SHARK investigator’s vehicle off a road just west of Waterloo, Ohio, near the center of Wayne National Forest.
Matched suspects’ photos
By 11:35 a.m. on January 5, 2021, ANIMALS 24-7 investigator Beth Clifton, a former police officer, had achieved tentative photo identification of three possible suspects.
The first suspect, shown at closest range and most clearly in the SHARK video, is James V. “Bub” Newcomb II, 53, of Waterloo.
One incorrect identification
Incorrectly identified was Richard B. “Bubba” Newcomb, 46, of Ironton, the Lawrence County seat. Richard Newcomb was arrested in 2016 for a similar offense against an ex-wife during a child exchange. As Newcomb was dressed in Facebook photos, he appears to be a lookalike for Shannon Lee Clark, 35, of Ironton.
Shannon L. Clark is the suspect whom ANIMALS 24-7 learned early on January 7, 2021 is actually under investigation by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the multiple offenses.
ANIMALS 24-7 apologizes to Richard B. “Bubba” Newcomb for the erroneous identification.
Shannon Lee Clark, who also has criminal history for a similar offense, was first anonymously identified to ANIMALS 24-7 by an email from an Ohio reader sent at 4:12 a.m. on January 7, 2021.
Steve Hindi, who had not yet been told about that tip because ANIMALS 24-7 had not yet seen it, separately informed ANIMALS 24-7 two hours later that Clark is the actual second suspect.
The third man
The third suspect is Scott Aldridge, 38, of Pedro, an unincorporated community seven miles east of Waterloo.
SHARK had already delivered the images from which ANIMALS 24-7 developed the tentative identifications to the sheriff’s department in Lawrence County, Ohio, more than 24 hours earlier, but the sheriff’s department had not yet named any suspects to SHARK.
James V. Newcomb II, Shannon Clark, and Scott Aldridge all should have been well-known to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, in connection with multiple incidents going back at least to 1999.
Newcomb Game Farm
The SHARK video, made public at https://youtu.be/M8hIIczNeOA, shows three men committing a variety of actions which could potentially bring state, local, and––because the alleged offenses were committed on federal property and involved federal air space––federal criminal charges.
The video shows that first the man identified as James V. Newcomb II approached Hindi, who appeared to be on the Lawrence County public road right-of-way, near the entrance to the property at 366 Wiseman Cemetery Hill Road.
Newcomb and his wife Rebecca “Becki” Newcomb operate the Newcomb Game Farm at this address. Becki Newcomb is secretary of the Ohio Game Bird Association, headquartered at the same address.
The gate demarcating the end of public access and the beginning of private property is visible in the background, some distance away.
Lawrence County Sheriff was tipped, but did not respond
The Newcomb Game Farm is an in-holding agricultural property within the Wayne National Forest.
Tipped off, along with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, that a cockfight would be underway there, the SHARK team had already videotaped a large concentration of vehicles of suspected cockfighters on the scene.
The SHARK team understood that Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies would soon arrive––which they did not.
Hindi, who had just launched a drone that was broadcasting video images and GPS location data, asked the man identified as James V. Newcomb II if he could help him.
Assault began with FAA violation
The man identified as James V. Newcomb II cursed Hindi, forcibly taking the drone controller from Hindi, and smashed the drone controller against a mailbox labeled “Newcomb.”
Hindi advised the man identified as James V. Newcomb II that interfering with a drone in flight is a violation of Federal Aviation Agency regulations, since it can cause a dangerous crash.
This was only the first of the several potential federal offenses that Newcomb II and the other men allegedly committed.
Beat, kicked, & threatened to kill Hindi
The man identified as James V. Newcomb II and the man now identified as Shannon Lee Clark then repeatedly beat, kicked, and threatened to kill Hindi, in clearly audible statements. Hindi suffered head injuries, a broken rib, and internal injuries.
The video shows other suspected cockfighters in the background, urging the attackers on.
The man identified as Scott Aldridge appears to be physically blocking Hindi from retreating further down the road.
Newcomb, Clark, and Aldridge are all significantly bigger than Hindi.
Chased car with pickup truck
The SHARK video resumes with footage from another SHARK investigator’s internally mounted vehicle camera.
Two suspects appearing to be the Newcomb men chased the investigator’s car, ramming it repeatedly with a pickup truck bearing the Ohio license plate number HIL 1286.
Eventually the investigator’s vehicle was run off the road, suffering extensive damage. An initial insurance report declared the vehicle “totaled,” SHARK said.
Public records indicate that a James Newcomb was charged with domestic violence in Cincinnati on September 1, 1999, but the charge was dropped three weeks later.
A James Newcomb was charged with littering on October 27, 2001, also in the Cincinnati area.
A James Newcomb was charged with drug abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia on March 11, 2005 in Portsmouth, Ohio. The paraphernalia charge was dropped after this James Newcomb pleaded guilty to the drug abuse charge.
People of convictions
Arrested on July 19, 2010, James and Rebecca Newcomb, both of 366 Township Road 267, Waterloo, Ohio, on February 17, 2011 pleaded not guilty to trafficking in marijuana, a fourth degree felony. James Newcomb was released from custody on $50,000 bond.
Rebecca Newcomb reversed her plea to guilty on March 24, 2011, and was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term plus three years on probation.
James Newcomb was convicted on April 6, 2011.
Shannon L. Clark
Shannon Lee Clark, the Ironton Tribune reported on April 8, 2008, “pleaded guilty last month to assaulting a former Ironton police officer,” bringing “a four-year prison sentence,” with a possibility of judicial release after one year.
The victim, Shawn Rawlins, left the Ironton Police Department in 2005. “Authorities contend Clark and Rawlins ran into each other at a bar earlier this year,” the Ironton Tribune said, “and Clark assaulted Rawlins. Rawlins, who is no longer in law enforcement, once took Clark to jail after Clark was arrested by another Ironton officer.”
Added the Ironton Tribune, “Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said Clark, who was out of jail on bond until sentencing, was alleged to have told someone he planned to get even with Rawlins once he is released from prison and that the next time Rawlins would not be around to file charges against him. Technically, this is retaliation, a third-degree felony,” Anderson said.
Public records show that Shannon Lee Clark was previously arrested for “operating on suspended/revoked operators license” in Greenup, Kentucky, on September 1, 2007.
Shannon Lee Clark was also booked in Ironton for alleged theft on September 6, 2012.
Scott Aldridge and his father Otis Aldridge are known to police in a somewhat different context: as victims of “burglary with a firearm specification and two counts of felonious assault stemming from an incident on November 23, 2009 during which” one Clifton West, then 21, “burst into a neighbor’s home and shot two men there.”
West’s attorney, Mike Gliechauf, told Lawrence County Common Pleas Court judge Charles Cooper that the incident was “a situation where a 20-year-old man was drinking large quantities of whiskey, maybe using pills, there was an altercation and a tragic accident happened.”
Cooper sentenced West to serve 12 years in state prison, including three years for felonious use of a firearm.
Damages could exceed value of Newcomb Game Farm
The SHARK video appears to show James V. “Bubba” Newcomb II either in possession of a handgun or feigning possession of a handgun in initially approaching Hindi.
Regardless of the disposition of the many criminal charges that the January 3, 2020 SHARK video appears to document, Hindi told ANIMALS 24-7 that the day in court he is most anticipating will come in response to a civil suit to be brought against the Newcombs and Aldridge for extensive personal injuries and property damage.
The total, including hospital bills, loss of a $2,000 drone, a vehicle worth as much as $35,000, and various other high-end drone and camera equipment, could exceed the estimated $140,000 value of the 366 Wiseman Cemetery Hill Road property.