A cop in a quiet Ohio township is in hot water this week after a video showing him threatening three people with his gun as they lie on the street went viral.
On Sunday afternoon, Officer Eric Hart pulled over Cassandra Meyers, 21, to cite her for a license plate violation. As he was writing her up, Aaron Tatowski, 40, who says that he is the woman’s father-in-law, drove by, but stopped when he saw what was happening.
Tatowksi said he questioned the officer about how he was speaking to Meyers. According to a police report of the incident, Tatowski told Hart, “I’m [expletive] sick of you cops. I’m [expletive] sick of you harassing people for no reason.”
At that point, Tatowski said the officer ordered him back into his vehicle.
He hollered for me to get back in my truck, so I got back in my truck," Tatkowski told WTOL Channel 11 News. "Next thing you know, I'm yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things. He yanked her out of the truck."
That’s not what the police report filed by Hart said. The officer alleged that Tatowski refused to return to his vehicle, so he aimed his stun gun at Tatowski and forced him to lie on the ground.
At that point, Meyers got out of her car. According to Hart’s report, she struggled with him and he finally handcuffed her on the ground as well. Somehow, Tatwoski’s 14-year-old son also ended up on the ground as Tatowski pointed his handgun at the three family members.
"It was totally uncalled for, the way [the officer] was using force on people," one witness, Jim Stechschulte, told the Channel 11 news team. "I'm sorry to say that, but that's the way it is and if they don't like it, so be it."
The Washington Township Police Department has placed Hart on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.
“I’m not saying he did anything wrong, but we’re trying to show we’re not trying to sweep this under the rug or cover it up,” said local police chief Christopher Kaiser.
See video of the incident below.
SOURCES: Toledo Blade, Toledo News Now, YouTube