'Menace to society' indicted in crash that nearly killed retired firefighter

'Menace to society' indicted in crash that nearly killed retired firefighter
Mark Newton at his Jan. 12 arraignment in Hamilton County Municipal Court. (FOX19 NOW)
Mark Newton at his Jan. 12 arraignment in Hamilton County Municipal Court. (FOX19 NOW)
FOX19 NOW/file
FOX19 NOW/file

GREEN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A repeat felony offender described by authorities as a "menace to society" faces additional charges now that tests determined he was on drugs when he caused a crash that nearly killed a retired 78-year-old Cincinnati firefighter.

Mark Newton, 33, was indicted last week on two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol a drug of abuse or a combination in addition to charges of aggravated vehicular assault and vehicular assault.

Newton tested positive for cocaine and other drugs, court records show.

He has a particularly long criminal record with more than 80 arrests and 11 convictions, including several felonies, court records show.

"He deserves the longest punishment possible," said Jenny DeRemer. "I had one firefighter contact me and say 'We'll fill the courtroom.'"

Newton is held at the Hamilton County Justice Center in lieu of $250,000 cash bond. He returns to court March 21 for a scheduling conference.

Jenny DeRemer is hoping that jail won't simply be a revolving door this time for the career criminal who irrevocably changed her father's life forever and robbed him of his vitality in what time he has left.

He's stayed so active since he retired from the Cincinnati Fire Department after 34 years. He was a dedicated volunteer for more than 20 years at the Cincinnati Fire Museum.

On Jan. 11, he went to the store to buy a lottery ticket.

That's when Newtown,  who was driving a stolen van and trying to elude a Hamilton County deputy sheriff, crashed into his SUV at a Green Township intersection.

Long recovery for retired firefighter nearly killed in crash with 'menace to society'

The Vietnam veteran was in a coma for eight days at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

DeRemer suffered 13 broken ribs; broken pelvis, broken sternum, broken collarbone, broken bones in his back, bleeding on his brain and broken bone in his sinus cavity as well as multiple lacerations that had to be stitched up, according to his daughter.

He celebrated his birthday in the intensive care unit and is now undergoing rehabilitation at the Drake Center.

Jenny DeRemer says her father can talk again, but he still cannot walk and has brain damage.

It's not clear when he will be released to go home.

"Time will tell if his brain will heal or not," DeRemer said. "We've had multiple conversations and he does now know that that he was in a car wreck. He doesn't really remember the accident because he was not breathing at the scene when the paramedics got there.

"He wants to get up and walk and he thinks that he can and he's forgetting because of the brain injury that he cannot walk and he's such an active person that that's all he wants to do: get up and walk."

Still, she stays hopeful and plans on her father coming home one day.

She visits him every single day after she leaves her job at a Downtown marketing firm and spends 6-8 hours at his side each Saturday and Sunday.

They are the only family they have left.

Her mother unexpectedly died from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and then she lost her sister to a heroin overdose. Her father, who was a Cincinnati firefighter for 34 years, tried to resuscitate her but tragically could not save her.

Their other family, the firefighter community, is helping out. They visit them at the hospital, bring food and are making sure they have what they need - and will need when DeRemer comes home.

A Go Fund Me account for him has raised $6,415 to exceed the fund's original $4,000 goal in just one month.

She is especially grateful for a special gift from a third-generation West Side company.

"It all started with me joking with a firefighter friend of ours that I wish I could give my dad the world, a brand new house, etc because he deserves it," she said. "I know I can't get him that. I wish I could just give him central air in our house because all we've ever had is window units."

The next day, Cincinnati Firefighter Bill Houston contacted a close friend, Joe Reupert, one of three owners of Reupert Heating & Air Conditioning in Westwood.

Reupert and his two partners agreed without hesitation to donate $10,000 worth of materials to install the central air conditioning system, complete with duct work (the house had none). They also fixed the boiler, which they discovered was leaking and incorrectly hooked up, unbeknownst to the DeRemers.

"Our faith tells us to help those in need," said Reupert, whose late grandfather started the company in 1947.

"The way we looked at it was he didn't have anywhere completely to rehab after he gets out of the hospital because his wall units didn't work effectively. We wanted to make sure he had air conditioning in his house. Jenny said her parents always talked about putting air conditioning in the house but never did. we just took it over."

Jenny DeRemer is touched by the generous gift.

"I was in complete and utter shock," she said. " I was speechless just to know that good people in the world exist, just to know my dad deserves this. I hope that he is aware of what's going on when he comes home. I just want him home."

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