CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ven Johnson Law, PLC, filed two lawsuits Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against Put-in-Bay police officers involved in two controversial incidents.
The first, on behalf of Monica Gulledge and Lyle Taylor from Wayne County Michigan, was filed against the Village of Put-in-Bay, former Lt. Michael Russo, Officer Dwayne Webb and Cpl. Terry Rutledge Jr.
Russo was at the Put-in-Bay Resort Hotel on May 24 after 10 p.m. investigating an unrelated call when he became aware of an overturned golf cart incident.
He reportedly approached Gulledge from the rear and slammed her to the ground without identifying himself as a police officer. The other two officers arrested Taylor for no apparent reason other than associating with Gulledge.
The second lawsuit, on behalf of Diamone Wilson, Panzie Hunter, Paris Hunter and Ryan Hollingshed from Sandusky, was filed against the same defendants excluding Webb.
Russo and Rutledge were conducting a traffic stop on June 6 around 9 p.m. writing a citation for Hollingshed running a stop sign and having too many passengers on board.
Russo handcuffed Wilson after seeing an item passed to her, then also restrained Wilson when he protested the action. Russo slipped during the commotion, pulled out his gun and threatened to shoot.
As Hollingshed was being taken into custody, bystanders got more upset and Russo drew his gun again and said to get on the ground while Rutledge called for backup. Hollingshed had his hands in the air and was ultimately tased three times.
The law office says Wilson and the Hunters were never arraigned or informed of their charges even after their June 7 release. Hollingshed and the five other men involved were released on June 8 after their charges were dropped.
NBC 24 previously addressed the June 6 case, after which Police Chief Steve Riddle was placed on paid administrative leave and Russo resigned.