Dispatch recordings reveal moments after Portage County deputy was set on fire

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RAVENNA, Ohio– Radio dispatch recordings released Tuesday reveal the frantic moments after a Portage County Sheriff’s Office deputy was set on fire while serving an arrest warrant.

“Start the FD to our location, start the FD!” an officer can be heard saying, calling for the fire department.

Sgt. James Acklin was serving an arrest warrant on Jay Brannon, 49, of Atwater, at a property on SR 44 in Rootstown Thursday when he was attacked. Investigators said Brannon lit flammable liquid on fire and threw it at Acklin, burning him.

“He started the garage on fire, threw a fire device at our officers. I have one who’s partially burned,” an officer said in the dispatch recordings.

Acklin, a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, suffered burns on more than 20 percent of his body. He was released from the hospital Monday.

Investigators said Brannon charged at other officers and attempted to assault them. He was arrested on five counts each of attempted murder and arson. Brannon is being held in the Portage County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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