MEDINA, Ohio-- Police dash camera video obtained by FOX 8 News is shedding light on the drunk driving arrest of an off-duty Medina Township police officer on St. Patrick's Day.
It was just after 11 p.m. on March 17 when a witness called Medina police and reported that a man appeared to be passed out in a car in the 900 block of Beechwood Drive.
The dash cam video shows as an officer pulls up to the scene, a Dodge Challenger is stopped in the middle of the street.
Officers discover that the man slumped behind the wheel is veteran Medina Township Police Patrolman Cliff Nicholson. The 42-year-old is arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence.
Medina Police Chief Ed Kinney told FOX 8 that Officer Nicholson refused to take a breathalyzer test and that, as a result, his license has automatically been suspended.
After Cliff Nicholson was arrested, Medina police notified his boss, Medina Township Police Chief Travis Colonius. “Obviously I was interested in the welfare of my officer, and after that I was able to view both the report and the video, and it's certainly less than the standard that I expect out of a law enforcement officer, let alone one that works for me in particular,” said Chief Colonius.
Cliff Nicholson has been a Medina Township patrolman since 2004, and has been honored a number of times for his enforcement of traffic laws, and his police biography reads “as of 2013, he holds an oath with the Medina County OVI Task Force.”
“He's a very active patrol officer and I wish he'd made other choices in this case,” said Chief Colonius. “He's entitled to due process; he hasn't had his day in court yet. We've viewed one side of the story; he's yet to tell his side of the story and once that matter is adjudicated and I've got both sides of the story, I'll determine what discipline is appropriate at that time.”
According to Chief Colonius, Cliff Nicholson is currently on sick leave. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Medina Municipal Court on Friday.