A New Castle police officer has been fired for what investigators say was “using excessive force.”
We reported on the incident on April 25 after a video surfaced on social media of an arrest. The video appears to show Patrolman Ronald Williams grabbing Perry Lowry and shoving his head and chest to the floor three times.
Williams told investigators that he felt that Lowry was not complying with their orders and was trying to crawl toward knives, according to a police report.
The firing comes after an internal investigation into the incident.
A news release from Chief Robert Salem does not specifically name the fired officer, but he was identified in a police report that WKBN obtained last month.
According to that report, officers had initially been called to the E. Washington Street apartment after reports that Lowry had grabbed a 15-year-old boy by the throat and was choking him. Police said Lowry was intoxicated and uncooperative when they arrived.
The police department said its internal investigation found that the officers were legally inside of the apartment and a struggle began when one officer tried to separate Lowry from others involved. Police said Lowry lunged toward kitchen knives.
When the second officer arrived, he was justified to use the taser on Lowry, according to investigators.
The investigation found, however, that officers had control over Lowry when he was on the floor, and additional force by that second officer was not needed to make an arrest.
A Use of Force Review Board made up of New Castle police officers unanimously voted that his actions weren’t within the department’s policies and procedures pertaining to the use of force.
The case has been referred to the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office for a criminal review of the officer’s actions.
Lowry is also charged with assault, harassment and resisting arrest for his actions prior to the arrest.