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Officers focus of assault probe

May 1, 2012
By MARK LAW - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

TILTONSVILLE - Two part-time village police officers are on leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation looks into whether the officers, while off duty, beat a man on April 16.

Village Police Chief Jerry Davis said on-duty officers had responded to an alarm call at Buckeye SouthWest Middle School on Walden Avenue when they were approached by a man who said he had just been assaulted. Davis said the man had head and upper body injuries.

The victim told the officers that five people, four of whom were wearing masks, were in a vehicle that approached him. One man jumped out of the vehicle and started to beat him, reports indicated.

Davis said the man gave a description of the vehicle and then told the officers they had been talking to people in the same vehicle just prior to the beating.

The police chief said the officers recognized the vehicle as belonging to an off-duty officer. That is when Davis was contacted. He said he called BCI and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla to begin an investigation. Abdalla declined, saying the off-duty officers worked for other police departments.

Davis said one of the officers suspected in the beating works full time for the Belmont County Sheriff's Department, while the other officer works full time for the Martins Ferry Police Department. Both officers had worked full time in the past for Tiltonsville and had left for their other jobs in October, Davis said. One of the officers also works part time for Wells Township Police Department.

Davis said the victim refused medical treatment but was later taken by a family member to an area hospital.Davis said both part-time officers are on leave and the department has asked for their equipment, but the men haven't been terminated. Davis said he expects a report back from BCI this week.

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