A police officer in Ohio was fired after he pulled over his daughter's boyfriend with her in the car- briefly detaining the boyfriend without cause- and driving off with his daughter locked in his squad car.
Lorain officer John Kovach Jr. pulled over his daughter's boyfriend, Makai Coleman, 18, on April 18, without cause, and tells him he is 'going to jail.' Meanwhile, his daughter, Katlyn Kovach, 18, is in the back seat of Coleman's car.
When Coleman asks Kovach why he is going to jail, he responds: 'Have a seat in my car. We'll make sh** up as we go,' with Kovach's dashcam is picking up the full exchange.
Coleman acquiesced and takes a seat in the back of Kovach's cruiser, meanwhile, the officer begins speaking with Gloria Morales, who has come out of her nearby home because two of her children are also in Coleman's car.
The officer, who has been with the department since 1992, tells Morales that his daughter's computer is in her house, and he wants to search her home.
Originally Morales agrees, but then he threatens her, telling her he's going to give her daughter who was also in Coleman's car, a $300 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.
The mother then tells him to go get a warrant if he wants to come check her house.
Until now it appears he did not see his own daughter in the backseat of Coleman's car.
He releases his daughter's boyfriend of at least three months from his cruiser and then shoves his own daughter into the backseat of the cop car.
Katlyn begins screaming at him 'Why! Why are you f***ing pushing me! Why!'
She starts crying: 'You can't arrest me for no reason,' then her boyfriend confronts her dad, saying 'Why are you putting her in the car, she did nothing.'
The officer then claims to Coleman that his daughter was suicidal that previous Friday.
She says 'I was not!' and Coleman also retorts 'I'm not harboring her, she's 18, she can do whatever she wants.'
Kovach, speaking to Coleman says: 'She is going to the hospital because she said she was going to kill herself Friday.'
Her boyfriend retorts, ‘Do you have any proof of that? Any text message?'
And with that, officer drives off with his daughter protesting to him that she never said she was suicidal.
According to an internal investigation into the incident which was only part of the reason Kovach was terminated on May 11 from the Lorain Police Department, Katlyn's father said he believed his daughter was going to kill herself because his ex-wife alerted him she and Coleman were engaged in sexual conduct in her home, according to The Chronicle-Telegram.
The ex-wife told Kovach she had then told Coleman to leave and he threatened her.
Afterward he spoke with his daughter on the phone and she told her father 'If I can't be with him, I don't want to be here anymore,' which he took to be a suicidal threat.
The investigation’s report also said that Coleman, and Coleman's mother, had told investigators that the officer had called him, threatening to take out warrants against him and that he would go to his Army recruiter to stop Coleman’s enlistment.
During the April 18 incident, Kovach was found to have ignored a call from dispatch about a road rage incident.
He also used police resources to track his daughter's computer through her IP address, according to the investigation.
Additionally, the officer told the investigators that he didn't believe Coleman was a 'good person' as he was arrested for marijuana possession, and that his daughter was staying with Coleman against her parents' wishes, according to internal investigation documents related to the firing.
'Since the chief of police can only discipline personnel by suspension to a level of three days, the board feels strongly that the matter should be moved to the level of Safety Service Director for disciplinary action,' an interoffice memo said.
'This is due to the very serious nature of the violations, which rise to the level of gross misconduct, place the Police Department in a position of liability, and could result in discipline up to and including termination.'
Police Chief Cel Rivera said Kovach's actions were 'an abuse of police authority and a serious departure from appropriate protocol…they are contrary to the mission, values, and policies of the Lorain Police Department,' according to the Chronicle.
Safety-Service Director Dan Given said the incident has been referred to County Prosecutor Dennis Will for review.
'These actions are not acceptable for members of our Police Department and we felt it warranted immediate dismissal,' Given added.
He was officially and immediately terminated on May 11- a decision he is appealing with assistance from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3.
FOP President Kyle Gelenius said 'Because the collective bargaining agreement stipulates that disciplinary procedures are private, I will reserve my comments until after the case has been decided,' Gelenius said.
'Nonetheless, Officer Kovach is looking forward to presenting his side of the story to a neutral arbitrator this coming September, when the arbitration is scheduled.'
They say the city violated Kovach's contractual rights by firing him.
Date Posted: Sunday, June 24th, 2018 , Total Page Views: 402
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