Acting Put-in-Bay Police chief shoves victim of assault multiple times, complaint says (video)
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There are new allegations of excessive force against the leader of an already embattled local police department.
The latest complaint stems from how the department’s acting chief responded here to a call about an assault.
The victim who filed the complaint spoke only with 19 News investigators about what happened and why he’s now coming forward.
Patrick McCann said he was waiting on the sidewalk to give officers a statement on Sept. 19.
He’d called for police moments before, saying an intoxicated suspect hit him and two others inside the Roundhouse Bar.
“I was just standing there,” he said. “I was the victim of the original assault.”
After the suspect was put in handcuffs, though, McCann said things escalated again, unexpectedly.
In the body camera video released by the department, you can hear a man yelling “back up.”
“He was kind of yelling in general, but eventually, he just stepped right in front of me, telling me to back up,” McCann said.
The man who was yelling turned out to be the city’s acting chief of police, James Kimball.
He was dressed in plain clothes.
McCann says he didn’t hear him announce that, though in the body cam, you can hear it.
Regardless, McCann appeared to comply with the orders anyway, wondering why other officers weren’t stepping in as he got shoved over and over again before he says he fell over.
“I just thought some large man was coming up, yelling at me, so that’s why I was backing up,” McCann said.
McCann says he was upset when he learned it was the chief pushing him.
“I called the police, and I ended up getting thrown down by the police. Nobody wants that to happen,” he said.
He’s spent the last few months trying to make sense of it all.
But, when he recently saw the body camera footage released in a public records request, he says there was a renewed sense that he needed to file a formal complaint.
“I don’t think that’s the way the chief of police should act,” he said.
McCann said he’s since been told that the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the complaint he filed against Kimble.
In it, McCann writes, “The physical contact he made with me was completely unnecessary.”
“I’d really like the chief of police to make better decisions than that,” he said.
Deputy Chief Mark Hummer returned our calls for comment Monday morning.
He said after seeing the complaint filed last week, the Put-In-Bay Police department asked the Ottowa County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to decide which independent agency should investigate the complaint McCann made.
Hummer says as of right now, Kimble is still working as the acting chief.
19 News told you when Kimble was made the acting chief this summer. The move came after the city’s chief of police was put on leave following an alleged excessive force incident involving his officers in June.
Two of the officers face a lawsuit because of the case. And a source confirms the FBI is also investigating in it.
We also reached out to the prosecutor’s office McCann says is handling the case.
We’ll keep you updated on this developing story.
Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.