Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Police officer charged with domestic violence

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Cincinnati police officer, whose police powers were suspended in March for using excessive force, was arrested this week and charged with domestic violence.

        Officer Robert J. Hill III, 32, was arrested early Sunday at his Mount Washington residence.

        According to the police report, Officer Hill was involved in verbal altercation with a woman at his home about 12:35 a.m. when the woman attempted to leave. The report says Officer Hill slapped the woman in the face and then grabbed her and threw her to the ground.

        If convicted on the domestic violence charge, Officer Hill would not be able to carry a weapon, jeopardizing his police career.

        Officer Hill was stripped of his police powers and assigned to desk duty in March after an police internal investigation determined he used excessive force during the arrest of a then-68-year-old man in a Madisonville convenience store.

        Silverton resident Robert L. Wittenberg, who has Alzheimer's disease, wandered away from home on Nov. 14. He entered the United Dairy Farmer's store in Madisonville and muttering something about someone needing help.

        Officer Hill, who was the first officer on the scene, approached Mr. Wittenberg from behind, grabbed him, threw him on the floor and fell on top of him. The incident was captured on store surveillance cameras.

        Officer Hill took Mr. Wittenberg home. The following day, Mr. Wittenberg was hospitalized.

        In December, Mr. Wittenberg and his wife, Mary, filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati, the police division and Officer Hill.


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