Officers Accused Of Beating Fan

Police in Hudson, Ohio, are investigating an assault in the parking lot of Blossom Music Center June 22nd that may have involved two of their own officers.

A fan at a James Taylor concert suffered multiple broken bones in his face, according to a police report, allegedly from a beating he took from two off-duty police supervisors.

The Hudson police department is not commenting on the situation. According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the assault, Christopher Sawyer and his girlfriend were leaving the Cuyahoga Falls venue when Sawyer claims his picnic basket brushed against a car.

Two men he didn’t know got out of the vehicle and one sucker-punched him, with both striking Sawyer during the attack, the concert-goer claims. His girlfriend was allegedly pushed to the ground.

The Sheriff’s report says witnesses gave police the license number of a Jeep Grand Cherokee and the vehicle was traced to Hudson police Lt. Robert Walker, according to Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer. A city spokesman said Walker and Sgt. Kenneth Ciesla were placed on administrative leave without pay pending an investigation.

An internal memo from the police chief says the allegations are serious enough that criminal convictions “could potentially end [the officers’] law-enforcement careers,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The case is reportedly under review for presentation to a grand jury for possible felony charges.

Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Mary Ann Kovach told the Beacon Journal she had not yet been able to review the entire investigative file but said she had seen photos of the accuser that showed “considerable facial injuries.”