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Hamilton police officer who shot at suspect will not be charged

Chief: Officer's actions 'lawful, proper'
Posted at 2:13 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 14:13:01-04

HAMILTON, Ohio — There will be no criminal charges for a Hamilton police officer who fired shots at a suspect earlier this month, Hamilton police announced Friday.

Police said the incident involved 36-year-old Eric Wilson of Hamilton, who was wanted by multiple Ohio police departments.

Wilson fled from Hamilton police on three separate occasions in the weeks before his arrest, police said. Officers tried to apprehend him again on Sept. 19 after he left the scene of a crash with injuries.

Officer Wyatt Arnold and his partner Officer Sean Figley later found Wilson in a backyard on the 500 block of South 7th Street. Wilson fled to his vehicle and officers ordered him to stop. As Figley approached, Wilson “started forward” in his car, “turned sharply in Figley’s direction and knocked him to the ground,” police said.

With Figley in danger of being run over, Arnold fired nine rounds at Wilson and the vehicle, police said.

Wilson, the only person in the car, was not struck by gunfire and drove away. He crashed the vehicle nearby and was taken into custody. Both Wilson and Figley were hospitalized and released for minor injuries.

Wilson later admitted he was “under the influence of cocaine, meth and marijuana,” according to his arrest report.

Arnold had been placed on administrative leave following the incident, and both officers are now back on full duty, police said.

On Thursday, the results of an internal investigation were presented to a Butler County grand jury, which declined to bring charges against Arnold on Friday. Additional charges for Wilson have also been prepared, police said in a statement.

“Having conducted a thorough investigation and after considering the grand jury decision, I have determined the actions of Officer Wyatt Arnold were lawful, proper and in full compliance with departmental policy,” said Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit in the statement.