Man gets probation for assaulting 2 EL?cops

LISBON – A man who pleaded to assaulting two East Liverpool police officers last October was sentenced to five years probation and ordered by Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike to write a letter of apology to the patrolmen.

“Those police officers go out there and put their life on the line,” Pike told defendant Charles Walker during sentencing Monday. “They’re not perfect. They get sent out there to try to sort out everyone’s problems. You ought give them the presumption of authority.”

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones, patrolmen Fred Flati and Greg Smith were sent to investigate a report of some missing children on Oct. 24, 2012. Walker, who was intoxicated, refused to listen to the police and allow them to conduct their investigation. Eventually, Walker intentionally kicked one patrolman, according to Jones, and struggled with them, resulting in injuries to both.

Walker denied he was ever told he was under arrest, even when questioned by the probation department during his pre-sentencing investigation. Jones pointed out his story differs from what the police have told us.

Defense attorney Charley Kidder said he believes Walker is a “good man” who made a bad decision on only one day. Walker had no previous convictions nor had he gotten into any trouble since last October. Walker also reportedly has already began attending counseling, and all drug screens have been negative.

“I believe he is as amenable to community control as anyone we have coming in here,” Kidder said asking Pike for a probation sentence.

Pike agreed, giving Walker five years to prove he can make good decisions.

“Write a letter of apology to the police officers and say something in there about how you respect them for what they do,” Pike added.