‘I thought they were going to kill me’: East Cleveland man tells FOX 8 I-Team about alleged assault by police

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio-- A man is telling his story first to the Fox 8 I-Team after he says police took him to a park and beat him.

“They beat me and choked me,” said Jesse Nickerson of East Cleveland, as he stood in Forest Hill Park, the place where he said police beat him in the early morning hours of July 26.

He claims the assault happened after he was arrested on four charges, including receiving stolen property and tampering with evidence.

His attorney, W. Scott Ramsey, said he believes the charges will either be dismissed or Nickerson will be acquitted.

“I thought they were going to kill me,” Nickerson said. “I told them, 'you got me; take me to the police station,' but they kicked me down the hill.”

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said the two officers-- DeNanye Dixon and part time Officer Gerald Spencer II-- were fired days after the alleged assault.

The city’s police chief also asked that the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation look into the matter and determine if the former officers should face criminal charges.

Nickerson suffered injuries to his head, knees, and back.

“He keeps getting awful headaches, he can’t sleep,” said Nickerson’s girlfriend, Ashley Smith. “It’s been awful.”

Nickerson said he wants the fired officers to face criminal charges.

“They should be held responsible for what they did,” Nickerson said.