WESTWOOD, Ohio (FOX19) - Cincinnati police say they arrested a man who refused to leave a YMCA and “violently” assaulted the arresting officers.
The incident happened Thursday at 8:48 p.m. at the Gamble-Nippert YMCA at 3159 Montana Avenue. Police say they received a call about a man refusing to leave the gym and found Durrell Nichols, 25, behaving in a disorderly manner. They say they tried several times to get Nichols to leave the gym before attempting to arrest him, at which point Nichols resisted and “violently assaulted” the officers.
“A very large man over 300 pounds. He pushed teenage girls off the basketball court because he wanted to play basketball. When their grandmother tried to intervene, he pushed the grandmother away,” Sgt. Dan Hils, FOP President, said.
According to a statement from the YMCA, Nichols was a member at the time, and after his conduct the staff asked him to leave. When he refused, that’s when they called police.
“When they finally told him he had to leave or be arrested for criminal trespass, he started to assault one of the officers. He totally brutalized him,” Hils said.
The officer was severely cut on his forehead, bruised on the side of the head and his eye was swollen shut, but he’s expected to be okay according to Hils.
Police aren’t releasing the officers name yet. They say his partner tried using her taser multiple times during the attack but it had no effect on Nichols.
“It was a wild night,” said James Wilson, describing the explosive situation he helped diffuse.
“He had the cop on the ground, just raining down punches,” said Wilson. “He was bloody, cut open -- it was very aggressive and scary and I didn’t know what to do but go stop it.”
You can watch our interview with Wilson below:
“He got Tased several times, at least half a dozen times,” said Wilson. “The restraint of the officers was amazing, which I’m very thankful for because right behind was my daughter.”
Sgt. Hils says he is making a call for management at the Cincinnati Police Department to put more cops on the street.
“They’ve been so low our district has been so under-manned out there on the street. It’s affecting the attitude. The belligerence that subjects are showing to the police is because they know there is not enough of us to always be there to back each other up,” Hils said.
Nichols was arrested and charged with two counts of felonious assault on a law officer, felony resisting arrest, felony obstructing official business, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.