Three Cleveland officers suspended following struggle with suspect

CLEVELAND– Three Cleveland police officers were suspended without pay for withholding information regarding an officer’s injury, the city of Cleveland announced on Thursday.

Patrol Officer Steve Fedorko, a four-year veteran, was suspended for 30 days; Patrol Officer Joseph Tylka, a seven-year veteran, was suspended for 12 days; and Patrol Officer Lewis Stevens, a four-year veteran, was suspended for eight days.

The Cleveland Department of Safety sent the officers letters regarding their suspensions on Tuesday. All three were assigned to the Fifth District.

The discipline stems from an incident on March 4, 2017 on Belvoir Boulevard on Cleveland’s east side. Officers Tylka and Stevens were called to a house for a man threatening to kill his mother, according to the police report.

The officers said the suspect acted as though he had a gun and refused to show his hands. They used a Taser on the man, with no effect, then followed him into the house. Officers Tylka and Stevens struggled to control the suspect, and tried to pull him out of a closet, the police report from Tylka said.

Officer Fedorko arrived to help arrest the man. While the police report said the suspect kicked Fedorko and broke his big toe, the department of safety said Fedorko hurt himself by putting the man in a leg lock.

According to the disciplinary letters, the three officers did not provide accurate information about Fedorko’s injury.¬† The letter said Fedorko also failed to report he used a leg lock and used the maneuver, despite the division’s policy.

He faces additional discipline from a pursuit on May 17, 2017.

This is not the first time Fedorko has been under investigation by city’s department of safety. Cleveland police said he was the only officer to fire his weapon in the deadly shooting of a man on Oct. 25, 2017. In that case, police said Antonio Levison pointed a gun at officers during a foot chase.

The redacted letters are available here: