NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH (WOIO) - The former police officer accused of shooting himself, lying about it, causing panic, an hours long manhunt and a statewide blue alert to be issued was in court Monday to face several felony charges.
Bryan Eubanks, formerly a Newcomerstown police officer, is charged with five felonies, two counts of tampering with evidence, one count of making false alarms, one count of inducing panic, one count of forgery and a misdemeanor charge of workers compensation fraud.
The inducing panic and making false alarms charges each have a firearm specification which could add years to a possible conviction.
At about 10:15 am on April 11, Eubanks told officials that he was "shot by two male suspects in a black Geo Tracker…Male suspects are armed and dangerous." Eubanks said the incident happened in Newcomerstown at Johnson Hill Rd SW & Post Boy Rd SW.
About an hour and a half later, the state issued a "Blue Alert," a statewide alert issued only when a police officer has been critically injured or killed and the suspect is still at large.
Cleveland 19 spoke to Eubanks hours after he said he was shot.
When asked if there was anything he would like to say to the suspects he claimed shot him, Eubanks responded, "We're coming. All of us. This is a brotherhood and sisterhood and we're all coming."
Eubanks also spoke about his wife and three children, and shared what seemed like moment by moment memories of the alleged crime.
"He was actually aiming the gun towards my face when I turned the gun shot, and shot me in the arm I ducked down to take cover and head back to my cruiser and that's when he shot the second round," said Eubanks.
A week later, the Tuscawaras county sheriff's department said in a press conference that Eubanks made the whole thing up, and admitted a suicide attempt started everything.
Eubanks didn't say anything in court Monday afternoon, instead, he let his attorney speak for him.
"He will enter pleas of not guilty to each count," said James Burdin, an Akron based attorney representing Eubanks.
Eubanks received a personal recognizance bond, meaning he was able to go home without posting any money.
Judge Edward Emmett O'Farrell said that since Eubanks received a summons, and showed up in court, that state law required him to give Eubanks a PR bond.
Burdin told Cleveland 19 after court that Eubanks would not be speaking with the media.
"Well Bryan will not be making a statement only because we have not received the discovery information from the prosecutor," said Burdin.
The Ohio Attorney General's office is prosecuting Eubanks. The AG assigned to the case said he could not speak to the media on the case.
The Ohio Blue Alert system was put in place in 2012. According to social media for the Ohio Blue Alert, four such alerts have been issued since 2012.