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Sheriff: Deputy accused of kicking inmate in head has been fired

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 14:45:54-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — A Hamilton County deputy accused of kicking an inmate in the head last month has been fired, according to Sheriff Jim Neil.

Neil said Franklin was fired “after an investigation revealed that he used excessive force.”

Sgt. Jesse Franklin was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault earlier this month.

Nick Ballanchino was being processed by Franklin at the Hamilton County Justice Center on June 9 after being arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing official business.

He bit Franklin’s work-booted foot, Deters wrote. Franklin kicked him in the head, resulting in a hospitalization where the inmate received five stitches.

Video of the incident shows deputies wrestling the inmate to the floor after he resists their attempts to search him. While he is restrained on his stomach with his arms cuffed behind his back, he bites the top of Franklin's boot. Franklin kicks him hard enough to lift his torso off the ground.

Hamilton County deputy kicks restrained inmate in head

Ballanchino said he's still getting headaches and dizziness from the incident.

"I'm a roofer, so the concussion causes me dizziness. I go up ladders, so it's not really safe for me right now until I heal to do my line of work," Ballanchino said.

Ballanchino had been arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing official business. According to Hamilton County court documents, he had kicked his neighbor's truck and attempted to flee from police when they arrived to arrest him.

The WCPO I-Team found that Franklin was disciplined 12 years ago for "unnecessary use of force" on another inmate in the county jail, according to records in Franklin's personnel file.

WCPO will update this story.