It was suggested that I write a letter to your magazine about the police harassment in a town called North Ridgeville, Ohio, located in Lorain County.
The police are mostly young guys that have no ties to the city and seem to want to make a name for themselves. They are all arrogant little pups.
If it is dark or after hours and you are driving in the town you will most likely get pulled over. You don't have to be speeding or swerving or anything you just have to be driving late at night. On Friday June 16th, my husband and I were driving home late at night after a nice day out on the motorcycle. There had been no drinking or anything that day but spending time together. On our way home we were driving down Center Ridge road and a police cruiser passed us going the opposite direction. They turned around and followed us all the way home, slowing down by our house and watching to see what we were doing. This was because we were out at night.
When driving down Chestnut Ridge West toward Rt. 83 we were passed by a police cruiser. The cruiser was driving very fast and after passing us he turned around to follow behind us. We stopped at the light at RT 83 and turned left onto 83. The police cruiser pulled up behind us and turned on his lights. We stopped and pulled over in front of the church parking lot.
My husband and his friend Tim W. stepped off their motorcycles. The officer came up to my husband and my husband put out his hand to shake the officer's and asked him how he was doing. The officer told him to put down his hand and asked if we knew we were doing 55 in a 35. My husband told him no and asked him how he could clock us when he was driving in the opposite direction and moving fast. He said that's what radar is for. (When I first seen the officer passing us I looked at the speedometer to make sure we weren't speeding and it was between 35-40.)
He proceeded to ask where we were coming from and my husband told him from his friend's girlfriend's in Berea and that we only lived around the corner. I told him they were taking me home because I was sick. The officer then asked my husband if we had been drinking and Tim told him at least 2 hours ago and I had not been drinking. The cop kept asking questions and my husband told him that we didn't do anything wrong and that he was tired of being fucking harassed in this town. The officer then said are you saying I'm fucking harassing you. At that time Tim walked over to his bike and said I am only going home. I told him not to say anything else because you could tell the officer was now pissed off. The officer then came over to the bike and told my husband to put his hands behind his back so he could cuff him. Tim turned around and looked at the officer and told him that this was Bull Shit and the officer started spraying him with pepper spray telling him to get to the ground.
My husband was getting very upset, wiping his eyes and kept saying he couldn't see so he wouldn't go down. Another officer arrived on the scene and then both officers knocked Tim to the ground while continuing to spray him with pepper spray. While on the ground Tim kept telling them he couldn't breath and while the officer continued spraying they handcuffed Tim. They kicked him in the right side ribs and he has several marks on his back. His face was scratched up from being pressed into gravel with the officer's knee on his neck. This whole time Tim kept saying I'm done, you got me, I can't breath. I was yelling at the officer to stop spraying. Someone from across the street yelled for them to stop and let him up but they didn't. After this they put Tim in the cruiser.
His friend Tim W. then said Sir Can I ask you a question. The 2nd officer said I heard enough so you need to shut your fucking mouth. Tim then walked over to sit on his bike. The 1st officer then came up to Tim and arrested him also.
The 2nd officer then asked the 1st one if there were any charges against me because I would have to be transported and he said he didn't know yet. I was then placed into the 2nd cruiser. While they were waiting for the tow trucks for the bikes, the officer in my car proceeded to run my SSN# to make sure I had no priors or warrants, which I did not so he was taking me home. While driving down Rt. 83 with me in the back of the car a vehicle passed us and did not appear to be speeding or anything. The officer made a quick turn around speeding after this car with me still in the back seat. We turned east on Chestnut Ridge where he pulled this car over and gave the female a sobriety test. She passed; he let her go and then proceeded to take me home. The police seemed to be stopping any car driving at night.
My husband smelled so bad of the pepper spray that it burned my throat. We went home so he could bathe which made it worse. I had to call the Emergency room to see how to deactivate this stuff because Tim's skin was bright red and his eyes were red and burning.
There was an older officer at the police station that stated he couldn't believe they used a whole can of pepper spray on him. They wanted to have Tim take a breath test but he refused because he couldn't see or breath good. His friend Tim W. blew a .09 and the officer stated he has never had it so low that normally everyone blows a .12 or higher.
We got a friend with a motorcycle endorsement to come over and drive the bikes home. We went to the impound lot and was told that we could not get my husbands bike because of a court hold. But we were able to get his friend's bike released. His friend's brand new bike had some damage. It looked like someone peeled off the metal stickers and tried to pry the dash off. My husband's bike is covered with pepper spray. The impound lot attendant stated that they are always busy in North Ridgeville because the cops are constantly pulling people over and trying to get them for DUI. The Elyria court docket for N. Ridgeville cases are all DUI offenses.
A friend of ours was at a bar on Center Ridge Rd. in N. Ridgeville. Since he lived across the street and about 5 houses down he decided to walk home because he had been drinking. The police stopped him in the parking lot and told him he could not walk home and arrested him for Public intoxication. He did the right thing and was still harassed. We have had other friends move here from Cleveland to get a better life but have left and gone back due to these kinds of harassment. The best thing for people in N. Ridgeville is Don't go out at night.