Boardman police: Officer fired shots at bicyclist who pulled knife during traffic stop

Local News

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – There was an officer-involved shooting in Boardman early Tuesday morning that left the suspect hurt.

It happened around 12:45 a.m. on South Avenue near Mathews Road.

According to a police report, it started when a Boardman officer made a traffic stop on a man riding a bicycle.

Police radio traffic: “I’ll be out with a male on a bicycle with a baseball bat. South Avenue and Mathews Road.

The officer said he thought the man, later identified as 24-year-old Damian Cessna from Boardman, looked suspicious as he ​was holding a baseball bat while riding the bike.

The report said Cessna pulled out a knife and ignored commands to drop it — that’s when the officer shot Cessna several times in the torso.

Police radio traffic: “Shots fired! Shots fired! …Suspect’s down.

Boardman Police Chief Todd Werth would not go on camera but did say that moments after the shooting, the officer who fired the shots and other officers on the scene provided first aid to Cessna. He was then taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, where on Wednesday he was still receiving treatment.

Chief Werth said it is part of the job of being a police officer.

No officers were hurt.

Cessna was charged with felonious assault for threatening an officer with a knife.

Extra patrols were called in for crowd control.

Police radio traffic: “We got a little crowd control problem here.
Dispatcher:We have Youngstown, Struthers, Lowellville, Poland. A bunch of people on the way.”

Police cleared the scene just after 6 a.m.

South Avenue was closed near the intersection for several hours but has since reopened.

As for the officer involved in the incident, he is on paid administrative leave, which is normal policy while an incident is being reviewed. An internal review will be conducted.

The Boardman Police Department is currently conducting Cessna’s criminal investigation.

At Boardman’s request, Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also looking at what happened. BCI will then report the results of their investigation to the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Boardman Police Department does not have body cameras but Monday night, trustees approved to spend the money to get some.

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