LIMA — A Spencerville man arrested over the weekend on multiple charges said he is going to file an excessive force complaint accusing Lima Police Department officers of beating him.
Tyler Paxson said he was left with numerous injuries and provided pictures showing at least one black eye, cuts and facial bruising. He was arrested early Saturday in the 100 block of Haller Street.
The 19-year-old Paxson said officers charged him with assault on an officer, false identity, obstructing official business, public intoxication, underage consumption and resisting arrest. The charges were not filed as of late Monday afternoon at Lima Municipal Court.
Paxson said he has an arraignment scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday. He said he will plead not guilty.
Lima Police Department Maj. Chip Protsman said he could not say much about an ongoing case involving the incident reported at 3:21 a.m.
“We are aware of the accusations and we are going to look into it,” Protsman said.
Paxson said he stopped by a friend’s house when officers in the area, responding to a call he was not connected to, approached him.
“The officer started immediately harassing me and saying what are you doing? What is your name?” Paxson said.
Paxson said the officer was yelling at him.
“I don’t really like talking to the police in the first place,” Paxson said. “I looked at the officer and said, ‘I’m an American citizen and I haven’t done anything wrong.’ I said, ‘I have all rights to walk away.’”
Paxson said he then tried to walk away.
“As soon as I went to walk down the step he grabbed my arm and ripped me off the step and slammed me to the ground,” Paxson said.
The officer pulled Paxson up and then slammed him into a building, Paxson said.
Other officers arrived.
“The first officer who came around the building immediately began beating me in the eye with a fist,” he said. “He ran up and attacked the hell out of me.”
Paxson said he never tried to resist arrest. He also said he was not drunk but said he had one beer that evening.
Paxson said he was knocked unconscious and woke up in the back of a police car at police headquarters. Another officer recognized Paxson as a man who had a traumatic brain injury a few years earlier in an all-terrain vehicle accident, so officers took Paxson to the hospital for treatment.
Paxson said he was at the hospital a couple of hours before he was released and free to go.
Still, he said he was assaulted for no reason and is upset.
Paxson said he is on probation for a recent misdemeanor menacing case. He is worried his probation may be violated in the incident. He said he has a $25-an-hour job he fears losing.
While Protsman said he cannot comment on Paxson’s case he said residents are required to tell police their names and other personal identifiers if officers are conducting an investigation and there is a legitimate reason to stop that person.
During that time, a person is not free to leave. A person may not be under arrest but an officer can detain the person while sorting out an incident the officer believes the person may be connected to, Protsman said.
Lima attorney Joe Benavidez said it’s probably better to cooperate with officers up to a certain point to avoid such confrontations but people don’t have to unless officers have a reasonable suspicion they are connected to a crime or incident.
“Some people feel if they’re not doing anything and they got stopped they don’t have to give information and they may be right. Police don’t take that too kindly,” Benavidez said.