Tensions boil over at meeting on Ohio officer charged with reckless homicide in Kentucky

‘If we keep going the way we’re going, this town is going to end up a township.’
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:03 PM EDT
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RIPLEY, Ohio (WXIX) - New details are surfacing about what happened before a former Ohio police officer, who is currently facing criminal charges, resigned last month.

Caleb Savage, formerly with the Ripley Police Department, faces charges out of Mason County, Kentucky of reckless homicide, failure to render aid and leaving an accident scene in connection with a deadly chase, the department said in late May.

The crash happened on March 12 on KY-3056 in Maysville, Kentucky, the department said.

The preliminary investigation found that Savage attempted to stop a Dodge Charger driven by Ryan Mitchell that was suspected to be involved in a property crime, according to KSP.

KSP confirmed that Savage drove for at least a mile from Ohio into Kentucky before turning on his emergency lights and sirens to stop the vehicle.

Troopers say that after approximately two miles on KY-3056, Mitchell lost control of his vehicle, which went off the right side of the highway and crashed. Savage continued on KY 3056 and returned to Ripley, Ohio, according to KSP. Troopers say Mitchell suffered life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Mason County Coroner’s Office.

Ripley police led a town meeting Tuesday night with new information on an internal investigation into Savage. But not all the information was available, and some were unhappy about that.

“I’m upset with the village, along with the majority of the people,” said one attendee. “Things have to change, and in order to make changes, we have to get rid of the people that’s there, plain and simple.”

Ripley Police Chief Corey Herron said Mitchell had been suspected in a hit-skip crash that caused property damage in Aberdeen.

Following the crash, the officer continued to work for the department. Herron said that’s because KSP did not inform him that criminal charges would be filed.

Herron said the department didn’t begin its internal investigation until Savage was indicted in May. During that investigation, Herron said they found Savage did not have his bodycam activated during the pursuit.

The police chief also said the car Savage was driving was not equipped with a dashcam.

The revelation irked residents who said the city council spends money on the police department without results meeting their expectations.

“There needs to be a lot of changes right now,” an attendee said. “If we keep going the way we’re going, this town is going to end up a township.”

Herron said the department is implementing some changes and has received vehicles with updated technology.

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