Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Elyria – A Cleveland man has been charged with an Assault on a Police Officer after he attacked an Officer inside of the Elyria Police Department’s Jail Sunday morning.

Elyria Police responded to a call for help at 1864 Middle Ave early Sunday morning and arrested 29 year old Anthony Thomas of Cleveland on a warrant for Contempt of Court. Officers were advised by their Dispatcher that Thomas had a history of acts of violence. Once Thomas was handcuffed he was escorted to a patrol car by Elyria Police Officer Bill Witt. While walking to the car Thomas told Witt that he could “sense the smell of fear” on him. Witt replied to Thomas that he must be mistaken since there is no fear coming from him. Once placed in the car there were no further conversations between Thomas and Witt.

When Witt arrived at the Police Station he cleared his weapon and placed it in a gun locker in the sally port. Thomas was then escorted into the booking area by Witt. Once inside Witt advised Thomas that what happened out on the street was over and Thomas advised yes it was. Officer Witt then removed the handcuffs from Thomas and told him that he could have a seat. Officer Witt then went behind the counter to review the warrant to see if Thomas could be released on a summons. Officer Witt told Thomas that he was going to take a booking photo of him and asked that he move to the other wall. Witt saw that Thomas was hesitating and only took a partial step towards the wall.

Then without warning, Thomas lunged across the counter and began throwing multiple overhead punches (haymakers) at Officer Witt. During the attack Witt attempted to radio for help but his speaker mic had fallen from his shirt. He also attempted to knock the phone from its base and dial 2293 (dispatch) to alert them to the fight but was unable to do so. Witt, unable to alert anyone for help, began to realize that Thomas’ continued assault on him was escalating and his self defense blows were doing nothing to stop Thomas. Witt realized that he needed to stop the assault due to his increasing fatigue to the much younger Thomas and the thought that Thomas was looking for a weapon that he could use against him. At one point Officer Witt could feel Thomas reaching at his gun belt.

Witt was able to then grab Thomas by the throat and force him on to the counter using his remaining strength. Witt was able to squeeze Thomas’ neck and cut off his airway. It was then that Thomas stopped his assault on Witt.

Officers who were alerted by a Police Dispatcher who had seen the struggle on the camera then began running in from all directions to assist Witt. Thomas was taken down to the ground and secured and placed back into the cell. He was later photographed and transported to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. Along with the original warrant for Contempt of Court on a DUS and OVI charges Thomas was also charged with Assault on a Police Officer (F4).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope that guy gets locked up for a long time.. I'm so sick of these wanna be gangsters and punks assualting our police officers.. Thank you Officer Witt for doing your job!!

10:34 PM  

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