Friday, October 26, 2001

Punching of suspect angered officer


Cop says colleague hit handcuffed man

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Police Officer David Hunter was so outraged to see a fellow officer, Patrick Caton, punch a handcuffed man as he lay on the ground that he had to speak out.

        “He struck him in the lower back. I said, "What the ---- is he doing' or something of that nature,” Officer Hunter testified Thursday on the second day of Officer Caton's trial in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

Caton
Caton
        Officer Caton faces a misdemeanor assault charge and, if convicted, up to six months in prison for events surrounding the Nov. 7 death of Roger Owensby Jr., 29, of College Hill.

        Police chased and were subduing Mr. Owensby when, prosecutors say, an officer put him in a choke hold that led to his death by asphyxiation. Officer Robert “Blaine” Jorg is on trial separately for manslaughter.

        Prosecutors in Officer Caton's trial allege he beat Mr. Owensby with his fists after the man was subdued on the ground and later in the squad car.

        Defense attorney Merlyn Shiverdecker argued that an assault charge is only applicable if the assault victim is alive.

        For Officer Jorg's trial, he said, prosecutors are contending that Mr. Owensby was dead by the time handcuffs were placed on him, which is when his client is accused of having used force.

        “It was not deadly force,” Mr. Shiverdecker said during his opening statement.

        Officer Hunter provided key testimony in both trials, saying that if anyone used inappropriate force that night, it was Officer Caton.

        He said he saw the officer punch Mr. Owensby while on the ground and he saw him “swinging” at Mr. Owensby after he had been placed into a police cruiser.

        Mr. Shiverdecker said his client “never struck Roger Owensby outside the parameters of permissible force. The purpose of it was to get the suspect to comply.”

       



Police improvements could cost millions
Now it's time to act, critics advise police
First 2012 Olympic cuts today
Conflicting details arise in testimony
- Punching of suspect angered officer
Fuller responds to his critics
Independent draws some notice
Ladybeetles descend on area
Luken has vastly more than Fuller
Military small part of war, general says
Q&A: 'You knew this was no accident'
Schloemer leads board candidates in contributions
Sidewalks for shoppers
Small airports batten down
Tristate A.M. Report
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: Police report
WELLS: Images of infamy
Fairfield candidates rank roads, property values high
Lovers of log house take appeal to county
Natural gas line planned
Storm water a concern
Two projects dropped from sales tax funding
Petition puts annexation law on hold
Safety on tap this Halloween
State will reimburse poor families
Fire doesn't derail plan for school for Muslim kids
Kenton could guide locale of sex zone
Peaselburg suspects jail ploy
UK students accused of counterfeiting