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01-26-11, 06:37 PM #1
Sheriff's Deputy Found Not Guilty of Assaulting Teens
BARBERTON, Ohio —
A Summit County sheriff's deputy has been found not guilty in Barberton Municipal Court of assaulting a carload of teens after their car crashed into his cruiser.
But Judge George Ferguson found Michael Conley, 48, guilty of two lesser counts of disorderly conduct.
Conley was ordered to pay a $250 fine and received a suspended 30 day jail term.
Conley had testified on Wednesday afternoon that on the night of June 14 he was sent to investigate a report of a large fight and possible gunfire at a park in Coventry Twp.
Conley said when he got close to the scene, his cruiser was broadsided by a car leaving the park.
"My hands left the steering column, my right hand smashed into a dashboard, my head hit the windshield," he testified, "And I got blasted into a window and the airbag deployed on me."
Conley said after the collision, he went to detain four teenagers in the other car. But according to investigators, dashcam video from another cruiser at the scene shows him kicking and stomping three of the teens.
The deputy testified that as a result of his injuries from the crash, he was unable to use his arms and felt it was necessary to use his legs and feet when the driver, and later his passengers, failed to comply with his commands.
When asked by his attorney why he was shown kicking the driver up to five times, Conley responded, "To get him under control."
After Conley's superiors at the sheriff's department reviewed the dashcam video, they concluded that he had violated departmental policy. He was initially placed on medical leave because of his injuries from the accident, but was later placed on paid administrative leave.
The teenagers who say they were assaulted by Michael Conley have a different version of the events that night.
They testified that they did not see his cruiser before the collision because he did not have his lights on and that they did nothing to resist.
Conley and his attorneys asked the judge to consider his state of mind at the time.
"I was in fear for my life, I was just blasted by some people that were leaving the scene of a crime," said Conley. "I don't know if I was rammed on purpose or by accident, I don't know how that happened."
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