Cleveland Police release video of incident involving officer who now faces unrelated rape charges

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates obtained video from an incident in 2017 after digging into the past of an officer we told you was charged with felony rape in unrelated cases earlier this year.

The officer’s two accusers both say Ofc. Matthew Piter wasn’t on the job when he sexually assaulted them.

However, upon receiving his personnel file after he was charged in their cases, 19 Investigates discovered the officer had been disciplined by CPD years ago for something he did do on the job.

While unrelated to the felony rape charges he faces, we thought you should see for yourself what happened here four years ago, because it’s what leads to the blemish Piter’s personnel file.

Body camera footage from 2017 shows Piter and his partner catch up with a woman dispatch told them was running from a man with a gun on I-71 south.

The woman is in only a bra and pants, and police say she appeared to be highly intoxicated.

She shows them a gash on her face, and tells officers she’s taking them to show them the spot where she was assaulted.

But, they become irritated when she doesn’t listen to commands to stop walking.

Next, the two struggled to take her down and put her in handcuffs.

At one point, you can see one of the officers put his knee near her neck to hold her still.

The woman told them she was afraid because she’d just been threatened by the man who assaulted her.

“He said B**** if you talk to the police, I’m going to kill you,” the woman said.

After an internal investigation, Piter and his partner faced discipline from the department, because they booked the woman into jail that night.

Supervisors wrote in his discipline letter that Piter had no probable cause to arrest the woman, failed to de-escalate the arrest, and was not professional during it.

As far as we can tell, according to court records, the woman was let go and never faced any charges in the case.

Piter continues to deny all of the allegations of sexual assault that surfaced against him this year.

He’ll appear in court again next month, and his trial in those cases is set for the beginning of December.

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