Charge dropped in shooting by officer

CLEVELAND (AP) - A judge ruled that prosecutors failed to prove a city police officer lied in a report, then dismissed a charge against him.
Edward Lentz had faced a misdemeanor charge of lying in a written statement about his December 2001 shooting of a 12-year-old boy driving a stolen car outside the home of then-Mayor-elect Jane Campbell.
Lentz said the station wagon hit him, rolling him over the windshield onto the roof, where he fired 14 shots at driver Lorenzo Locklear.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Sutula said that although Lentz might have exaggerated the circumstances of the shooting, the testimony of three prosecution witnesses did not prove the officer lied.
Lentz's lawyer, Pat D'Angelo, said he hopes the police department will drop an internal discipline complaint against his client.
Prosecutor Bill Mason said that he was disappointed by the ruling and that he believed there was enough evidence to convict Lentz.
Locklear, now 14, faces felony assault charges in Juvenile Court. Prosecutors say he aimed the car at Lentz, even if he didn't strike the officer.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)