Ohio News Briefs


Arbitrator reinstates officer fired over police kick video

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police officer fired after subduing a restrained suspect in a way that appeared to show him kicking the suspect in the head has been reinstated by arbitrator.

The decision announced Monday reduces the discipline against Columbus officer Zachary Rosen to the equivalent of a three-day suspension without pay.

A video taken last year showed a Columbus officer restraining a prone man and preparing to handcuff him when Rosen arrives and appears to kick the man in the head.

Arbitrator Mitchell Goldberg said in a 28-page ruling that Rosen used more force than necessary but there was no evidence he was trying to injure the suspect.

A message was left with the union representing Rosen and which opposed his firing.

Democrat ex-official regrets bowing to NRA political muscle

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Democrat who helped overturn local assault weapons bans as a state lawmaker before being ousted as Ohio’s attorney general says he “was in the pocket of the National Rifle Association” to protect his political career and now regrets it.

Marc Dann’s blunt opinion column for Cleveland.com urges elected officials to live by their principles as the country debates gun control following the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Dann says the NRA has a “finely tuned propaganda operation” that convinces officeholders “even talking about gun safety would end their political careers,” and that he now realizes he should have pushed against it.

His current candor comes a decade after he left political office following a sexual harassment scandal involving others from his office.

Responding deputy hits car that failed to stop; drivers hurt

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a truck driven by a southeastern Ohio sheriff’s deputy responding to an emergency call hit a car that failed to stop at a red light, and both drivers were injured.

The State Highway Patrol says the 20-year-old woman driving the car was ejected in the Sunday night collision in Athens, south of the Ohio University campus. The truck, which was marked as an Athens County sheriff’s vehicle, overturned and slid into a bridge.

Troopers say the car driver was taken to a local hospital and was later flown to a Columbus hospital. They didn’t release details about her injuries or her condition Monday.

The 32-year-old deputy suffered minor injuries. He was treated at a local hospital.

The patrol says the crash remains under investigation.

Number of painkiller prescriptions continues to fall in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state says the number of painkiller prescriptions continues to fall as Ohio battles a deadly addictions epidemic.

Data released Monday by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy show 568 million painkiller pills were dispensed to patients last year, down nearly 30 percent from a high of 793 million in 2012.

The data also show a continuing decrease in the number of patients going from doctor to doctor in search of drugs thanks to the pharmacy board’s computerized reporting system, with an 88 percent drop since 2012.

An expanded use of that system has increased the number of checks on patients from about 66,000 a day in 2015 to almost 445,000 a day at the end of last year.

Ohio saw a record 4,050 overdose deaths last year.

Police: Man steals SUV with children inside

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say a man stepped into a convenience store in Ohio only to watch in horror as another person stole his SUV with his three children in the backseat.

WCPO-TV obtained the father’s frantic 911 call Saturday afternoon as he tells dispatchers his kids were taken in Colerain Township. The father says a good Samaritan gave him a ride, and the two chased the suspect before he eluded them.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the children, two 4 year olds and a 1 year old. Police say the children were found safe in the SUV several hours later in a Walmart parking lot.

Police have arrested the 33-year-old suspect and charged him with auto theft and kidnapping.

The family has declined to comment.