PICKAWAY COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office has released dashcam footage that appears to show a deputy punching a suspect following a chase.
In a release, Sheriff Matthew Hafey said the incident happened on April 30 around 9:26 p.m. in the area of the South Bloomfield Wendy’s on US Route 23. The video was reviewed by the sheriff’s office on May 4, the same day Deputy Ryan J. Howard was placed on administrative leave pending investigation, the release said.
NBC4 profiled Howard in December 2020 as part of a series on the efforts to clean up drug traffic along US 23.
Police say the suspect allegedly failed to stop when they attempted to pull him over, leading to a chase through Ashville and back to South Bloomfield. The suspect’s vehicle went off the road into a field near Renick’s Farm Market where the chase came to an end.
The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene around 9:37 p.m. and the resulting dashcam footage appears to show Deputy Howard assaulting the suspect.
Sheriff Hafey said a use of force complaint was filed with his office. An investigation led to criminal misdemeanor charges of assault, falsification, and dereliction of duty against Howard.
“An internal investigation, moving towards termination, is also underway into the use of force complaint that was filed,” according to the release.