Investigators seek more video of confrontation involving Colerain officer

Colerain Township police make arrests outside an alternative school off Springdale Road Tuesday. (Photo: OK Then Dess Facebook page)
Colerain Township police make arrests outside an alternative school off Springdale Road Tuesday. (Photo: OK Then Dess Facebook page)
An officer making an arrest got into a confrontation with a bystander recording outside Northwest Passage School Tuesday. (Photo: OK Then Dress Facebook page)
An officer making an arrest got into a confrontation with a bystander recording outside Northwest Passage School Tuesday. (Photo: OK Then Dress Facebook page)
A student at Northwest Passage in Colerain Township is reported to have been "physically aggressive" toward a school resource officer Tuesday. (WXIX)
A student at Northwest Passage in Colerain Township is reported to have been "physically aggressive" toward a school resource officer Tuesday. (WXIX)

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Several people are facing charges after a scuffle involving Colerain police and students at Northwest Passage.

The confrontation happened Tuesday outside of the school. Northwest Passage is an alternative school in the Northwest Local School District.

The incident, which was caught on camera, resulted in seven people placed under arrest -- three adults and four juveniles.

Video of the incident spurred plenty of buzz online. In it, screams can be heard coming from the 16-year-old student, who had been maced and Tased. Police say the boy became disruptive in class, failed to comply with their commands, and raised a fist to strike the school's resource officer.

An altercation ensued, during which the school resource officer called for assistance. Colerain police officers responded.

That resource officer was Hamilton County Deputy Will Gaffney, who was working an off-duty detail at the school that day, according to Sheriff Jim Neil.

The 16-year-old was eventually handcuffed.

RELATED | 'Stop hitting me!' Video captures confrontation between officer, bystander

This all sparked tirade from several people at the school. Once the 16-year-old was put in handcuffs, another student decided to videotape what was going on.  After a back and forth, the officer is seen moving toward the woman and the camera abruptly jerks and the woman can be heard yelling "stop hitting me!" while the officer continues to yell "back up!"

FOX19 showed the video to former police officer and county prosecutor Mike Allen.

"Taking into consideration that that police officer has to make a split second decision, in my opinion, the use of force is a valid one," Allen said. "Here the officer is saying, 'Back up, back' and she says, 'I'm taking video,' he says, 'You can do that but you need to back up' and this ensued. In my opinion, completely appropriate. I mean he gave the command I believe twice."

Police say the woman with the camera is 19-year-old Breasia Thomas, who is charged with resisting arrest and obstructing official business. According to the police report, she is accused of resisting the arrest of herself as officers attempted to calm down a crowd and not following orders to disperse when officers were trying to calm down a crowd.

Also seen in the video is 36-year-old Loraine Warren, a parent of one of the students, according to police, who say she prevented several officers from making a mass arrest during an emergency, caused a disturbance at the scene, engaged in violent and turbulent behavior, and refused to cooperate with orders.

After the arrests outside, video from inside the school shows officers ordering another student to sit down, which she did initially, but then stood back up.

Also arrested and in court Wednesday morning was 18-year-old Dalijah Robinson. She's accused of engaging in a physical fight during school hours, delaying an officer of making an arrest, and fighting with officers after attempting to be placed under arrest.

All three women are expected back in court Thursday morning.

Police officials are asking anyone who witnesses the confrontation or has video to contact police using the number 321-COPS. The department will arrange a time to meet and get statements for anyone who comes forward, police say. Police say there are currently claims of more videos on social media and they would like to include them in their investigation.

"While the demand for answers is understandable and necessary, the need for correct and verified information is equally important." the Colerain Police Department said.

Colerain Township, May 9, 2018 – Chief Mark C. Denney of the Colerain Police Department, requests that anyone who witnessed and/or has video of the incident that occurred at Northwest Passages, 3130 Springdale Road, to make contact with us at 321-COPS. We can arrange a time to meet and obtain a statement. There are many claims on social media of other videos and we definitely want to include them in our investigation.
While the demand for answers is understandable and necessary, the need for correct and verified information is equally important.
The Colerain Police Department is an Nationally Accredited Police Department and has standardized processes and procedures for conducting internal investigations. This process not only assures the officer fair treatment, but also provides a thorough investigation for the complainant.

The juvenile handcuffed by Gaffney was arrested, charged with criminal trespassing, obstructing official business, resisting arrest, and transported to 20/20 Detention.

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