CANTON, Ohio – Ronald Wagner, 45, appeared in a Canton Municipal Courtroom on Monday with his left arm heavily bandaged, his fingers clearly swollen as the result of an arrest on May 13 during which he was forcibly removed from his car with the assistance of a police K9.
Wagner was pulled over in Canton by an Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper with handmade plates on his car.
Police body camera, as well as a video recording made by Wagner himself during the stop, show him refusing to provide information to the officers including any form of his identification.
During the stop, Wagner is heard citing his own interpretation of the law that he believes allows him to drive without a tag.
He also uses the fifth amendment against self incrimination to making the argument that unless he is accused of committing a crime, he also does not need to identify himself.
After about 20 minutes of asking for him to comply, a trooper is seen smashing out the passenger side window while a Canton police K9 jumps into the car from the driver’s side, clamping down on Wagner’s left arm while the trooper pulls him from the vehicle.
In court on Monday Wagner, along with his attorney, entered not guilty pleas to four misdemeanor charges including not displaying license plates, having no operators license, one count of obstructing official business and one count of resisting arrest.
Speaking with Fox 8 News following the arraignment Wagner’s attorney, Derek Lowry, said he has seen a video of the arrest.
When asked what he makes of the officer’s conduct in the video Lowry said he had not yet seen enough to form an opinion.
“I have not reviewed it in its entirety to be able to make that determination. I have not seen their statements as to what they feel was going on so it would be one of those, as I caution people and as I do jury trials, I always caution jurors to wait until you get all of the information before you make up your mind and render decisions or opinions as to it. Obviously he suffered great injury. I’m sure if we asked the officers they would indicate they felt there was a justification for why they did just like Mr. Wagner had an opinion for why he was acting in the way he was acting ,” said Lowry.
Wagner has already published several home made videos of his own on social media explaining his rationale for not complying with the officers.
When asked by Fox 8 News on Monday if he had any differences of opinion now, he said he is “on heavy medication and would not want to commit to an answer.”
Wagner told Fox 8 News he has already been through two surgeries to repair the injuries to his arm from the arrest.
University of Akron constitutional law professor Martin Belsky previously told Fox 8 that he believes the officers actions were justified under the circumstances.
“I understand he has made statements previously but at this time he asked me what I thought was in his best interest and, Mr. Wagner, I think at this point he’s agreed until we get all of the information he’s going to get on with his life, start healing, get home and rest up and start getting better.” said Lowry.
The court allowed Wagner to remain free on bond and has set a date of May 30 for his next hearing.
“My job is to kind of try to meld all of that together, have conversations with the prosecutor and determine if there is a resolution that all parties can be satisfied with,” said Lowry.