Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Using Unreasonable Force
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former Franklin Township police officer has pleaded guilty to using excessive force as a law enforcement officer.
Robert Wells, 49, of Pataskala, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced the plea offered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King.
Wells was charged by indictment in September 2018. According to the charging document, on May 1, 2018, while acting in his then official capacity as a Franklin County Township police officer, Wells kicked an individual in the head while the victim was lying handcuffed on the ground. This deprived the victim of his Constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer and resulted in bodily injury to the victim.
Additionally, Wells then made false and misleading statements in his report relating to the arrest of the victim in order to cover up the excessive force and create a false understanding of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and injury.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Criminal Chief Kenneth L. Parker and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, who has been designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.
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