Two police officers suspended for prank with gun - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Two police officers suspended for prank with gun

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Two Jackson Township police officers were suspended for a prank in which one shot a gun with blank rounds and the other pretended to be wounded, police said.

The prank scared department clerk Shelley Bender, who thought the .357-caliber handgun was real and that Sgt. Barry Lyons had been shot.

Lyons is serving an eight-day suspension for committing an
unsafe act and dishonesty. Beginning Saturday, Patrolman Patrick Pileggi will serve a three-day suspension for committing an unsafe act.

Lyons denied the allegations, but investigating officer Lt.
Chris Rudy found Lyons did not honestly answer questions about the Dec. 9 incident.

Rudy said Lyons called Bender into his office to ask about an accident report. Lyons then handed Pileggi a gun. Pileggi fired the gun, and both pretended it went off accidentally. Lyons fell back in his chair, pretending to be hurt.

Pileggi called the prank a bad decision. He said the prank is an ongoing one and that Lyons told him to play along.

"I agree we all play practical jokes on each other, but not to this extreme," Bender told Rudy.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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