Monday, April 22, 2002

Police say animal officer bit cop

Woman accused of resisting, assault

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Hamilton County SPCA officer was arrested early Sunday and accused of attacking a Cincinnati police officer, who sprayed her with a chemical irritant to subdue her.

        Denise Joyner, 31, faces charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. She was held at the Hamilton County Justice Center Sunday and will appear in court this morning.

  When originally published, this story should have said Denise Joyner pleaded no contest in July 2000 to fighting or threatening a man, not a child.
        Ms. Joyner is accused of blocking Cincinnati police Officer James P. Davis from walking up the sidewalk in the 200 block of Renner Street in University Heights.

        Ms. Joyner pushed and scratched Officer Davis when he tried to arrest her, bit him on the arm, causing minor injury, and hit him with open hands, according to the arrest report.

        Officer Davis sprayed Ms. Joyner with chemical irritant to get control of and arrest her, the report says.

        The 2 a.m. attack came after Officer Davis responded to the address to assist another Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officer. Ms. Joyner blocked Officer Davis' path as he tried to investigate, police said.

        Ms. Joyner has been accused of at least one other violent incident, according to court records.

        She pleaded guilty in July 2000 to an April 2000 charge of fighting or threatening a man living with her and paid $263 in court costs.

        According to a domestic violence complaint, she was accused of “knowingly causing physical harm” to the man, who suffered a bruise and swelling on his forehead.

        Few other details of Sunday's incident were available.

        Cincinnati police spokesman Lt. Kurt Byrd could not be reached for comment.

        Officer Davis was not scheduled to work and SPCA director Harold Dates said he still was trying to piece together what happened.

        But he did say Ms. Joyner, whose personnel record was not available Sunday, was not on duty when she was arrested.

        She has worked for the SPCA about five years, Mr. Dates said, and was one of several SPCA officers who helped search for “Cinci Freedom,” the cow who escaped from a Camp Washington slaughterhouse in February and avoided capture for 10 days in a Clifton park.

        “Evidently Officer Joyner put herself in a situation where she needed some assistance,” Mr. Dates said Sunday.

        Ms. Joyner has not had any disciplinary problems on duty, Mr. Dates stressed.


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