Deputy Accused of Using Excessive Force

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(Richland County Deputy Jeff Frazier)

MANSFIELD, Ohio — A Richland County Deputy has been placed on administrative leave, and could face possible criminal charges, pending an internal investigation of a complaint that he used excessive force during a call on Aug. 18.

An internal investigation report obtained by Fox 8 News shows that Deputy Jeff Frazier responded to a “civil standby” call on Esley Lane in Mansfield where the caller advised that his stuff was placed on the front porch.

According to the report, Zachary Ball, 24, went into the house when Frazier arrived.

The report shows “when Deputy Frazier knocked on the door, Mr. Ball would not open it. Mr. Ball stared cursing and yelling. Mr. Ball finally opened the door and Deputy Frazier stepped inside.”

(Richland County Deputy Jeff Frazier)

(Richland County Deputy Jeff Frazier)

A short time later, both men went outside to the garage, according to the report, where a witness claims “Deputy Frazier placed Mr. Ball against the inside of the garage door, told him to get on his knees and handcuffed him.”

Ball later gave a sworn statement in which he claims he was “thrown down, choked and punched in the jaw, both sides of the face, by Deputy Frazier.”

“He advised that Deputy Frazier threw him into the refrigerator, handcuffed him and threw him on the ground,” says the report, adding, “Mr. Ball used the words ‘he beat the (expletive) out of me’.”

A witness “advised he could not see into the garage due to the windows being covered over.”

The witness told authorities he did not hear a fight, nor “did he hear Mr. Ball yell and is very sure Frazier did not assault Mr. Ball,” according to the report.

In a narrative supplement, Ball claims he was also handcuffed to a chair and thrown against a chair he had in the garage.

“Zach advised he did nothing to deserve this and he is now in fear of Deputy Frazier,” investigators wrote.

Ball told investigators that Frazier “did cuss and yell at him a lot,” but never knew why he was in handcuffs.

According to the report, investigators took photographs of injuries, including abrasions on Ball’s shoulder.

The report lists Ball as a “victim” and the deputy as the “suspect.”

Richland County Sheriff Major Dale Fortney issued a brief statement reading, “Deputy Jeff Frazier was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation based upon a personnel complaint alleging excessive force on August 18, 2013. The investigation is continuing.”

The internal report shows deputies referred the matter to the Mansfield law director’s office.

In a taped statement to investigators, Frazier admitted being there, admitted handcuffing Ball, “but denies any assault or wrongdoing,” according to the internal report.