A police department in Ohio is examining the circumstances that led one of their officers to handcuff three family members including a 14-year-old boy and hold them on the ground at stun-gunpoint during a routine traffic stop.
According to Washington Township Officer Eric Hart's report, he initially pulled over Cassandra Meyers, 21, after noticing her "altered" license registration sticker.
At some point during the stop, Meyers' father-in-law Aaron Tatkowski arrived on the scene in his truck along with his girlfriend and Meyers' three children.
Per Hart's report, Tatkowski exited his vehicle and confronted the officer, allegedly yelling "I'm fucking sick of you cops. I'm fucking sick of you harassing people for no reason."
Tatkowski told Channel 11 News he got back in the truck as Officer Hart ordered, but for some unknown reason was "yanked out of the truck" by Hart moments later.
"It made my girlfriend say a few things," Tatkowski said. "He yanked her out of the truck."
Officer Hart asserts that Tatowski refused to get back in his truck, forcing him to pull out his stun gun and order him to lie on the ground.
This allegedly resulted in Meyers leaving her vehicle to object to Hart's behavior.
The report states that Meyers was then also ordered to the ground and a struggle between her and Hart reportedly ensued.
It is possible that at this point Tatowski's 14-year-old jumped out of the car to assist his family members, but the exact circumstances that led him to be ordered to the ground alongside Tatkowski and Meyers remain unclear.
It's at this point that a video of the incident filmed by an eyewitness kicks in, and it continues until Hart orders onlookers to disperse.
Over the course of the nearly five minutes of footage, Meyers and Tatowski can be heard exchanging words with Hart, and Hart can be seen pointing his stun gun at the family — a fact he left off the official report.
After the video went viral earlier this week, Hart was placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
He was also put on paid leave by the Toledo Public Schools, where he was employed as a school resource officer.
"He’s not in trouble, but to keep things aboveboard, we put him on administrative leave until an internal investigation is fully complete," Washington Township police Chief Christopher Kaiser said in a statement. "I’m not saying he did anything wrong, but we’re trying to show we’re not trying to sweep this under the rug or cover it up."
Meanwhile, Tatowski was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to charges of misconduct at an emergency, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
Meyers was booked into the same county jail on charges of obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, and fictitious plates.
She was also found to have an outstanding tax payment warrant.