Firefighter charged with assault claims he was surrounded and attacked

Justin Bancroft put on unpaid leave

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati firefighter accused of attacking three people claims he is also the victim of an attack, according to his attorney.

Justin Bancroft, 27, is accused of assaulting three people outside of Holy Grail at The Banks after 10 p.m. on Aug. 24, court documents state.

Bancroft appeared in Hamilton County Municipal Court for his arraignment Friday alongside his attorney Stew Mathews.

Mathews told the Hamilton County judge that Bancroft’s car was surrounded by people as he tried to leave the scene and other people attacked him.

Assistant Prosecutor David Wood said Bancroft’s version of what happened is not supported by facts. Wood said the entire incident is captured on unreleased “high-quality video.”

"After reviewing that video, they (police) say at no time during any of this do the four involved throw a punch," Wood said. "And that the account that the defendant gave them is not supported by the video."

The judge ordered Bancroft be held on a $125,000 bond.

Justin Bancroft

Bancroft was charged Monday with two counts of felonious assault and one count of assault. A police report states Bancroft struck the victims with a closed fist.

Two of the victims are students at Xavier University, spokeswoman Kelly Leon said.

Cathy Ritter, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Fire Department, told WCPO that Bancroft was put on unpaid leave Wednesday -- the first day he was expected to report for duty since the charges were filed.

Ritter confirmed Bancroft joined the department on June 26, 2016. He is assigned to Truck 31 in Oakley.

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