12/04/2000

Officer indicted for attempting to kidnap 13-year-old boy
[CLEVELAND, OH]

(CLEVELAND) -- A police officer tried to abduct a 13-year-old boy from a bus stop at W. 140th St. and Lorain Ave., prosecutors say.

On Nov. 28, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Patrolman Thomas B. Fuller, 43, of Cleveland, on one count of attempted abduction. He has been on the force two years.

County Prosecutor William D. Mason said Fuller asked Kenneth Fitzwater to get into his car Oct. 24. When the boy refused, Fuller flashed a badge and a gun, grabbed the boy and told him he was going to take him for a ride, Mason said.

Fitzwater broke free from Fuller and ran into a Wendy's restaurant, where he told employees what happened, Mason said.

Fuller is not accused of using his patrol car or being in uniform at the time of the incident. Police Chief Martin L. Flask said the department would schedule a hearing during which city Safety Director Henry Guzman probably will suspend Fuller without pay pending the outcome of the case.

"It would be premature to comment on guilt or innocence at this stage," Flask said.

"But our Internal Affairs investigators put together what I consider to be a very solid case against Officer Fuller," Flask said.

Fuller is charged with a fourth-degree felony with a gun specification. He faces up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted.

Fuller joined the force in September 1998 and worked in the 5th District until he was transferred to his present assignment in the Justice Center Records Division.

He could not be reached for comment.

Policeman accused of trying to abduct boy, 13, from bus stop
By Karl Turner; Plain Dealer Reporter
December 1, 2000 Friday, FINAL / Lake County
Copyright 2000 Plain Dealer Publishing Co.
The Plain Dealer
December 1, 2000 Friday, Final / Lake County
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