Thursday, February 15, 2001

Officer not indicted after hitting suspect with cruiser

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Cincinnati police officer was back on the job Wednesday after a grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges for hitting a suspect with his police cruiser.

        Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher had suspended the police powers of Officer John Haynes in January, one day after he was involved in arresting Anthony Flagg, 18, of Walnut Hills.

        Mr. Flagg ran from the police and school security personnel at Woodward High School in Bond Hill. Officer Haynes responded to the call with blue lights and sirens, and when chasing Mr. Flagg in his cruiser, ran into him. Mr. Flagg's injuries were not life-threatening.

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said it took four hours to present the case to a grand jury last week and that nine witnesses testified, including Mr. Flagg.

        “The (grand) jury was given a video and audio tape of the incident, but at the end of the day they voted not to indict,” Mr. Allen said.

        “I was kind of surprised, I guess. (But) it's their call,” he said.

        The officer could have faced assault charges if he had been indicted.

        Mr. Flagg was charged with criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal damaging, and he also had outstanding traffic warrants.

        An administrative review of the case by the police division is still under way.


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