CLEVELAND, Ohio — Prosecutors dropped misdemeanor charges against a 68-year-old man shoved off a rapid stop platform by an RTA police officer.
A psychiatrist at Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare, a state-run psychiatric facility, found Edward McDermott is incompetent to stand trial because of his unspecified mental illness.
Cleveland Municipal Judge Anne Oakar on Monday dismissed charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing and ordered McDermott to get treatment at Northcoast. A Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge will oversee McDermott’s case and determine when he should be released.
Surveillance video from the Feb. 16 incident showed RTA police officer Patrick Rivera shove McDermott off the platform and on to the tracks, which were active at the time.
Rivera avoided a suspension or firing by signing an agreement with RTA police officials that says he will be fired if he makes another mistake in the next year. Former RTA Police Chief Michael Gettings also ordered Rivera attend 40 hours of crisis intervention training and one day of de-escalation and judgement training.
RTA officials released video of the incident to cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer only after the news outlet filed a claim in the Ohio Court of Claims to compel them to do so.
Rivera showed up to the Brook Park rapid station because McDermott refused to move his belongings for a custodian cleaning the area. Rivera wrote in his report that McDermott became aggressive and hurled insults at him.
The video showed a brief interaction before McDermott appeared to lunge at Rivera twice. Rivera shoved McDermott in the side after McDermott started turning around. McDermott fell off the platform and Rivera and another officer blocked him from climbing off the tracks.
Gettings in his letter of discipline called the incident “unacceptable” and “inappropriate” and found Rivera used unnecessary force on McDermott. He also wrote that Rivera should have tried to help McDermott off the tracks instead of blocking him.
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