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June 10, 2007
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Ohio officer punched while booking prisoner

Incident captured on surveillance camera

BY WILLIAM A. WEATHERS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FAIRFIELD, Ohio — A Fairfield police officer was resting at home Friday after he was attacked early Thursday while booking a prisoner at the police station.

The incident was captured on the Police Department's video surveillance camera.

Officer Mike Sulfridge was treated at Mercy Hospital-Fairfield, where he received 11 stitches around his left eye and two near his right eye. He also was treated for a cut on his forehead.

"He'll be off a few days," Lt. Ken Coburn said Friday.

According to the police report, here's how the incident unfolded:

Late Wednesday, Morance David Harrison was outside the McDonald's restaurant on Boymel Drive after he was involved in an argument with another man. Harrison, 23, of Forest Park was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest after police said he stomped on Sulfridge's foot while officers were questioning the two men. Sulfridge took Harrison to the police station at 5230 Pleasant Avenue.

On the way to the police station, Harrison cried and apologized, Sulfridge said. At police headquarters, Harrison told Sulfridge: "I'm sorry I assaulted you," officials said.

Harrison had calmed down considerably while Sulfridge was doing the arrest paperwork, Coburn said. But his demeanor changed as Sulfridge was preparing to take him to the Butler County Jail, he said.

In his report, Sulfridge said he had instructed Harrison to put his hands behind his back so he could handcuff him when Harrison punched him in the left eye.

"The punch caused my left eye to bleed profusely," the officer said. "Harrison followed with two more punches to my face causing two additional cuts."

The officer struggled with Harrison before drawing his Taser.

"I ordered him to the ground, and he failed to comply," Harrison said. "I then Tased Harrison. I ordered him face down on the ground, and he refused and I Tased him a second time."

Two other officers helped restrain Harrison and place him a cell.

Harrison was arraigned Thursday in Fairfield Municipal Court. His bond was set at $500,000 on two counts of assault, two counts of resisting arrest and one count of disorderly conduct. He remains in the Butler County Jail.

Copyright 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer

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