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Video: Family cuffed as traffic stop escalates

What started as a stop for faulty plates turned into a mess when the suspect's family got involved

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — An officer is on paid leave while police investigate an arrest that escalated quickly when a suspect’s family arrived on the scene, ending with four people ordered to the ground.

Officer Eric Hart pulled over a woman for having an altered license registration sticker on her car, according to the Toledo Blade, when a man pulled up behind the officer, got out of his vehicle, and started shouting expletives at the officer.

“I’m (expletive) sick of you cops. I’m (expletive) sick of you harassing people for no reason,” the man said, according to Hart.

The man, 40-year-old Aaron Tatkowski, was the father-in-law of Cassandra Meyers, the woman Hart had pulled over.

The officer ordered Tatkowski back into his truck, but he and his girlfriend continued making comments, according to Hart.

"Next thing you know, I'm yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things,” Tatkowski told Toledo News Now. “He yanked her out of the truck."

Hart also ordered the man’s son, 14, out of the truck and instructed them all to lie on the ground. He put cuffs on Tatkowski and his girlfriend, and kept a TASER pointed toward Tatkowski.

A bystander began filming the incident on his phone and called 911, telling the operator the officer was “in distress.” Toward the end of the video, Hart orders the man to hang up and tosses his cell phone to the side.

 Tatkowski was arrested and charged with misconduct at an emergency, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest. He was arraigned Monday in Toledo Municipal Court, pleaded not guilty, and was released from the Lucas County jail on his own recognizance, according to reports.

Meyers, the woman initially pulled over, was arrested for obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, fictitious plates, and a tax payment warrant.

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