A former German Twp. firefighter who was charged with ethnic intimidation instead pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.
Kyle Artis, 44, pleaded guilty to menacing in Clark County Common Pleas Court, according to online court records. He was ordered to pay a $250 fine by Clark County Judge Douglas Rastatter.
German Twp. Fire Chief Tim Holman said Artis no longer works for the department after the two mutually separated after the plea. Artis had been placed on suspension after he was charged.
Artis was originally charged in April on three counts of felony ethnic intimidation after being accused of using racial slurs during a confrontation with Ohio Edison sub-contractors. Artis has denied using any racial slur.
Artis was also accused of brandishing a firearm during the argument, a claim he said was untrue.
Clark County Public Defender Jim Marshall, who represented Artis, declined comment when reached Thursday.
Police began their investigation on April 9 when they were dispatched to a home in the 1800 block of Norwood Avenue.
“Dispatch advised that the caller/victim was with a tree service company,” an affidavit says. “They were trimming a tree when a white male began yelling racial slurs and pulled out a gun.”
The officers met with the men who said they were trimming trees around power lines as part of their work, the affidavit says. While trimming trees on Norwood Avenue, the men said a man came outside to ask what they were doing.
“The victims advised that Mr. Artis got upset with how they were trimming the tree and advised them they needed to trim the tree a different way,” the affidavit says.
The men, who are black and Hispanic, said Artis began using racial slurs, according to the affidavit. Officers then went to the home, the affidavit says, where Artis denied using a racial slur to police.
“He stated he was unsure if the victims were actually with a tree company or not,” the affidavit says. “Mr. Artis stated he was upset with the way that the victims were trimming those trees. Mr. Artis later stated that he knew they were a tree company because they were working around the corner last week.”
Artis also denied brandishing a shotgun, saying that he was only moving it from the top of a refrigerator to his bedroom, the report says.