LOVELAND, Ohio (FOX19) - A jury was seated Thursday for the trial of a Cincinnati police captain charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Loveland.
Amanda Caton, 56, was pulled over on Loveland Miamiville Road in the early morning hours of March 9, 2020, cited at the Loveland Police Department and driven home by police.
According to the incident report, there was “a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage” coming from inside her vehicle when police approached during the traffic stop.
Loveland Officer Jacob Salamon wrote that he walked up to the driver’s side of Caton’s vehicle and noticed that she was shaking the passenger’s shoulder.
Salamon stated that he thought Caton was trying to wake her husband but she later said she was trying to calm him down.
The report says Salamon went to the front of the car and noticed Caton’s husband, Patrick Caton, a lieutenant with Cincinnati police, was holding up his police badge.
Salamon wrote that Patrick Caton was getting upset for not letting them go. The officer asked Amanda Caton to step out of the car and talk to him.
“I see your badge, but I’m telling you, your speech is slurred, you reek of alcohol,’ Salamon told her, according to the video. “You’ve put me in a bad spot.”
Salamon stated that Caton would not take tests to make sure she wasn’t impaired. She said it was because she was wearing shoes with heels.
She agreed to have her eyes checked. Salamon wrote in the incident report that “six of six clues were observed.” He also stated that she swayed as the test was being performed.
During the traffic stop, Caton’s husband “continued to be belligerent and confrontational,” according to the report.
He was asked to leave and if he didn’t calm down he’d be arrested. He walked off.
The officer said he didn’t feel comfortable letting her drive home and that she would be arrested for OVI.
She declined to take a blood alcohol content test.
Salamon arrested her on an OVI charge, handcuffed her and drove her in a cruiser to the police station for booking. After, police released her and drove her home.
She was charged with OVI refusal and a centerline violation. She was not charged in connection with having a firearm while intoxicated.
At the time of the incident, Cincinnati police officials released a statement saying:
“The Cincinnati Police Department confirms Police Captain Amanda Caton was stopped by the Loveland, Ohio Police Department on Sunday, Feb. 9th and subsequently charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVI). As a matter of protocol Captain Caton’s police powers have been suspended pending the outcome of the judicial process.”
A police spokesman later clarified that suspended police powers mean Caton doesn’t have arrest powers but she retains her position and responsibilities pending the outcome of the court case.
Caton was promoted to the rank of captain in June 2019. She joined Cincinnati Police Department in March 2004.
At the time of the incident, her then-lawyer called it a “bad stop and a bad arrest” and alleged the officer was “trolling for a DUI stop.”
There was no traffic violation, her lawyer said, and if she appeared drunk in the video it’s because she has a British accent.
He filed a motion asking for what he calls certain “self-serving heresay statements” to be removed from the video the jury will eventually see.
The officer’s work history and credibility could come up during Caton’s trial.
Salamon worked at the Ohio State Highway Patrol 2009 to 2016, when he resigned to join the Loveland Police Department, according to his personnel file.
When he left, he was under an internal investigation over accusations he lied about damage to his patrol car, and highway patrol officials said he shouldn’t be rehired, his OSP personnel file shows.
“Trooper Jacob Salamon is resigning effective July 14, 2016 to seek employment with the Loveland Police Department. As a result of his employment with the Ohio State Highway Patrol it is not recommended that Trooper Salamon be considered for rehire if the opportunity becomes available,” reads a July 27, 2016 memo from Salamon’s commander, Captain P.E. Hermes, to Major R.S. Fambro.
“At the time of his resignation, Trooper Salamon was the subject of an administrative investigation involving conflicting statements he made when questioned about unreported damage to his assigned patrol car.”
Salamon was notified of the probe on June 29, 2016, about two weeks before he left, records show.
“Allegation: Trooper Salamon failed to report damage to his assigned patrol car and was dishonest when questioned about the damage.”
His OSP personnel records go on to give his “Answer: “Trooper Salamon acknowledged that he did not report the damage to his patrol car. He denied being untruthful, but stated he understood why someone would believe he was being untruthful because he changed his statement about reporting the damage.”
When asked to explain how he forgot he did not have a conversation about it with a supervisor, “he cited a lot of things going on in his life,” including the death of his grandmother, his personnel file shows.
We sought comment from Loveland’s police chief last year and and from Salamon about Salamon’s personnel file at OSP, the internal investigation, allegations of untruthfulness and recommendation he not be rehired.
We also asked the police chief if he was aware of that when Salamon began working on the job in Loveland in July 2016, shortly before he resigned.
The chief emailed us the following response on both his behalf and Salamon’s in March 2020:
“Officer Salamon has been a great officer and has never given us cause to doubt his integrity. Part of his hiring process included a complete background investigation and discussion with his (then) current employer. We cannot comment on any discussions or positions taken by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. We suggest you contact them for clarification.”
An OSP spokesman told us the agency does not discuss former employees