A Cleveland police officer is accused of attacking a woman and then having her arrested under false pretenses.
Sgt. Christopher Graham, 48, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault, unlawful restraint, both first-degree misdemeanors.
Graham has twice been the subject of civil lawsuits filed by people who accused him of similar behavior. Both lawsuits resulted in cash settlements, and Graham was allowed to return to the street, reported Cleveland.com.
The most recent incident occurred Sept. 12 at the Sunoco gas station on Lorain Road near West 136th Street, according to court records.
Graham attacked the woman and had her arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer, court records say. He filed a false police report that led to the woman being charged with a felony, according to court records.
Court records do not say what provoked the attack by the officer.
Cleveland.com reported on the 2 previous brutality claims against Graham:
In 2003, he had two patrolmen arrest his then-live-in-girlfriend on a trespassing charge after an argument despite the fact that the woman lived at the Oak Park Avenue home.
The city settled that lawsuit for $14,000.
Two years later, Graham issued a man a traffic citation shortly after arguing with him over a parking spot outside a coffee shop in the city’s Collinwood neighborhood.
The two argued again and Graham told him: “You’re assaulting me.” The two fought and the man initially slipped away from Graham and ran.
Graham chased him down inside the coffee shop, tackled him and cracked him on the back of the head with his metal flashlight. He then threw the man into a rack of coffee mugs, which fell to the ground and shattered, and beat him again over the head with his flashlight, until he bled, according to the lawsuit.
The man said the officer pinned him to the floor with a knee in his chest and his hands around his neck until other officers arrived.
Graham handcuffed and arrested the man on charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where they treated him for his head injuries and stapled shut his wounds before releasing him back to police custody.
A grand jury declined to indict Graham on Dec. 12, 2005.
The city paid $7,500 to settle that lawsuit in 2007.
It is unknown if Graham was ever disciplined for his brutal actions.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)