City of Cleveland assistant law director arrested for public intoxication

Published: Jan. 13, 2017 at 4:59 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2017 at 10:13 PM EST
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Christopher Heltzel, the assistant director of law for the city of Cleveland, was arrested Thursday for disorderly conduct and voluntary intoxication after being "extremely antagonistic and combative" with a Cleveland Heights police officer, according to a report.

The report says that the officer responded to a citizen's call for a man "acting in a bizarre manner." The man, later identified as Heltzel, was sitting in a vehicle in a parking lot at Mayfield Road and Kenilworth Road, "with music playing loudly and flailing his arms wildly." It goes on to say that Heltzel exited the vehicle, and "appeared to be unsteady in his gait," that his eyes were bloodshot and classy, his skin was flushed and there was a "noticeable odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath."

Heltzel, who the report says identified himself as an assistant prosecutor for the city of Cleveland, allegedly was "extremely antagonistic and combative, quoting case law and his extensive knowledge about criminal proceedings."

In body camera recording, you can hear Heltzel tell Cleveland Heights Police officers, "You guys know I'm an Assistant Law Director with the City of Cleveland? Well, let me walk you through the protocol here. Reasonable suspicion means you need a discernible reason to come up to me."

The report goes on to say that he told the officer he didn't understand why the police were called as he was "just listening to the police album and having a good time." The report states that it was difficult to arrest Heltzel because "he continued to be antagonistic and combative."

"Let me give you a little bit of legal advice right now," Heltzel told officers.

Cleveland 19 called the city's law department Friday morning and spoke to a man who identified himself as Chris Heltzel. He said he wouldn't comment on the situation.  A spokesman for the city of Cleveland said they have no comment.  Cleveland 19 was told the Law Director was out of the office on Friday.

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