German Twp. firefighter indicted on charges of using racial slur against tree trimmers

A German Twp. firefighter was indicted this week in connection with an alleged incident during which he is accused of using a racial slur.

Kyle Artis, 43, was indicted on three counts of ethnic intimidation in Clark County Common Pleas Court. Artis has denied using the racial slur.

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Artis was placed on paid administrative leave by the fire department.

Police began their investigation on April 9 when they were dispatched to a home in the 1800 block of Norwood Avenue in Springfield.

“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.”

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The officers met with the men who said they were sub-contractors working for Ohio Edison trimming trees around power lines, 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 and found Artis leaving the home, the affidavit says. He 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 his tree. Mr. Artis later stated that he knew they were a tree company because they were working around the corner last week.”

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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.

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