Shooting Police probe drive-by shooting
Lancaster man survives Royalton Road incident
The Eagle-Gazette Staff

LANCASTER - A Lancaster man is recovering from a drive-by shooting this weekend that left him shaken and his car with two bullet holes in it.

Robert Batina, 32, of Lancaster, suffered only minor injuries to his arms from shattered glass that splattered during the shoot. He is just glad that's all he has to deal with.

Batina told deputies he was driving his 2001 Hyundai east on Royalton Road when a dark-color vehicle passed by him and someone in the vehicle shot at him. He wasn't hit, but the car was several times.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m., and Batina thinks someone fired five times - one bullet pierced the upper part of the door frame near his head.

"I've never had anything like this happen before," said Batina. "It happened so fast. It's like they always say on TV, you don't even know what's going on when it happens."
Robert Batina's vehicle is shown in a photo from
the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office

Batina said he went to Ashville to visit friends and was returning home when the shooting happened. He was traveling along Royalton Road when he noticed a car following him for a couple of miles. Then between Cedar Hill and Amanda Northern roads, the car passed him.

Batina said his windshield shattered and then the driver's side window shattered.

"Glass from the window cut my left arm," Batina said. "It was dark and I couldn't see anyone in the car or what type of car they were driving. I know it was dark and that's about it."

Batina said he stopped his car to see if he was hit. When he realized he wasn't hit, he then did a U-turn and headed back to his friend's house in Ashville.

"It doesn't look like a road rage incident," said Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen. "At this stage, we really are not sure what happened or why."

Detectives walked along Royalton Road between Cedar Hill and Amanda-Northern roads Monday morning in search of clues that might lead to the shooter.

When Batina got to his friend's house, he called the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office. Pickaway County deputies met him and told him he had to contact the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office because the shooting occurred in Fairfield County.

Fairfield County Sheriff Lt. Gary Kennedy said detectives were able to take bullets out of Batina's car.

The bullets are being sent to Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation for analysis, Kennedy said.

Originally published May 24, 2005 in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

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