A Yellow Springs police officer under investigation for use of force has been terminated, according to village manger Patti Bates.
“Probationary Police Officer John Whittemore was terminated from employment with the Yellow Springs Police Department effective July 5, 2016,” said Bates in a written statement today.
Whittemore started working as a full-time officer with the village in March, according to village documents. His starting salary was $21.31 per hour.
The scope of the investigation, which was expected to conclude by July 11, was aimed at determining whether Whittemore had probable cause to make an arrest on May 30. Around 9:30 p.m., Whittemore saw Leonid Alexander Clark walking near a hotel on Xenia Avenue. In the report, Whittemore noted Clark appeared to be “agitated,” under the influence of alcohol and failed to obey commands to stop walking.
Whittemore reported he put his hand on Clark’s wrist to keep him from walking away before Clark tried to break free and turned toward the officer in “an aggressive manner.”
“I attempted to place Clark in an arm bar joint manipulation to gain compliance from him, but he began to wrestle with me,” Whittemore wrote. “I again attempted to place him in a arm bar to gain compliance, but he put his free arm around the back of my neck and tried to pull my head toward him. Fearing I may be assaulted, I delivered a knee strike to Clark’s torso, enabling me to gain distance from him and free myself from his grasp, however, he continued to fight with me.”
Clark didn’t show any signs of injury to his torso and he did not complain about injuries, according to the police report.