Franklin Township Officer Resigns After Kicking Suspect In Head
A Franklin Township Police officer under investigation for kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head has resigned.
The Columbus Dispatch reports an attorney for officer Robert Wells says Wells' resigned effective Sunday.
Wells, a part-time Franklin Township officer, was placed on leave last week after a cellphone video surfaced from a May 1 vehicle pursuit that shows him kicking an 18-year-old man in the head.
Franklin Township trustee Aryeh Alex says an internal investigation of the 48-year-old Wells is continuing.
“Our police chief has an administrative investigation going on and, has requested a criminal investigation from BCI, in the attorney general’s office, to launch an independent investigation,” Alex explains.
"What I know," he adds, "is that the officer in question was hired under a previous police chief who is no longer with the township, and a previous board of trustees who are also no longer with the township."
According to Police Chief Byron C. Smith, the incident unfolded after officers stopped the car of Anthony Foster Jr., who fled and “continued driving recklessly” before being removed by officers. The video shows one officer pinning the suspect on the ground while Wells comes over and kicks him in the head.
Wells is a fulltime investigations supervisor for the Ohio Lottery Commission. He was convicted of assault and fired as a police officer in the central Ohio city of Pataskala in 2002 after he and another officer were seen in a cellphone video kicking an 18-year-old man during an arrest.
This was the second viral incident of a Columbus-area officer kicking a suspect in the head. Last July, officer Zachary Rosen was fired for using "unreasonable" force after a cell phone video showed him kicking Demarko Anderson. Rosen was reinstated in March after the Fraternal Order of Police appealed the decision.