CPD officer ‘violently assaulted’ to go before citizen complaint board for excessive force

Updated: Feb. 12, 2020 at 5:57 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer left bloodied and bruised after being assaulted at the Westwood YMCA last year is now the subject of an investigation by the citizen complaint board for excessive force.

Doug Utecht and several other officers responded to the Gamble-Nippert YMCA in June 2019 for a call from staff about a man refusing to leave the gym.

They reportedly 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.

"He totally brutalized him,” FOP President Dan Hils said at the time, referring to Nichols’ assault on Utecht.

Utecht sustained a severe cut on his forehead, bruises on the side of the head and a swollen shut eye.

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Nichols was arrested and charged with multiple felonies. He was found incompetent to stand trial last fall. The criminal case against him is ongoing.

Now Utecht and the other officers are under investigation after a citizen at the YMCA that night filed a complaint against the officers, saying they did not try to de-escalate the situation, that they did not read Nichols his rights and that they used excessive force.

The other officers are Andrew Snape and Joshua Wallet.

Hils argues the officers should not be investigated by the complaint board until the criminal case against Nichols wraps up.

He adds he is not against oversight but argues testifying before the complaint board could jeopardize the criminal case.

“Justice hasn’t been served all the way, he hasn’t been tried, he. hasn’t been sentenced, but yet we’re being put under suspicion,” Hils said. '(Utecht) did nothing wrong. The CCA should be able to see that. Our own internal affairs, our own administration was able to see that from the video.

“Oversight is perfectly fine,” Hils continued. “In this particular case, I’m just asking that it wait until these cases are adjudicated.”

The Citizens Complaint Board operates independently from CPD. It will eventually report to the city manager with the findings of its investigation.

Utecht is scheduled to appear before the board Thursday.

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