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Published: Monday, 10/14/2013

Washington Township police officer, made famous from videotaped stop, back to work


A Washington Township police officer is back at work after officials ended their review of circumstances surrounding a videotaped traffic stop, and found no wrongdoing by the officer.

Officer Eric Hart was reinstated late last week from paid administrative leave, after a review by the Lucas County Sheriff's Office was completed, township Trustee Kenneth Kay said. The part-time officer had been placed on leave last month during a review of the stop, which had been posted online and went viral. To date, the video on YouTube has been viewed more than one million times. 

In the nearly five minute video, a woman shouts at Officer Hart that he is harassing people. The woman, who screams and shouts throughout the encounter, also claims Officer Hart smashed her cell phone when she tried to call 911.

In a police report, Officer Hart wrote he was working Sept. 15 when he stopped a vehicle at 166 Pine Ridge St., in Raintree Village, for having an “altered” license registration sticker. During the stop, a man, later identified as Aaron Tatkowski, who was in another vehicle, stopped and got out of his truck, and reportedly told Officer Hart, “I’m [expletive] sick of you cops. I’m [expletive] sick of you harassing people for no reason.”

Mr. Kay said he felt the sheriff's office did a thorough review, and said he was satisfied with the report and with the police department's actions.



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