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Posted: 1:36 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013

Report: Dayton parole officers wrongfully detained individual

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Scott Leach photo

The Ohio Inspector General said two Dayton parole officers acted beyond the scope of their jobs when they chased down and pepper sprayed Scott Leach in April.

By Josh Sweigart

Staff Writer

DAYTON —

Two Dayton parole officers acted outside their authority when they chased down and arrested a man wanted on a felony warrant in April, a state investigation found.

The Ohio Inspector General today released a report saying parole officers Crystal Langer and Tim Jones "committed wrongful acts by detaining an individual who did have an open warrant, but was neither a parolee in violation of parole, nor under supervision of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority."

The incident happened in April, when Jones and Langer saw a man named Scott Leach at the BP gas station on Gettysburg Avenue. They had previously learned Leach was wanted on a felony warrant stemming from drug and child support charges.

Langer knew Leach because she had previously been his parole officer, the report says.

The two parole officers tried to talk to Leach, who ran and told his girlfriend to drive off - which she did with the gas pump still her vehicle.

They chased down Leach, and Jones pepper sprayed and handcuffed him. They also took a knife off of him before Dayton police arrived and took him into custody.

The problem with all of this, the Inspector General found, is that parole officers can only arrest people who are on parole or detain someone posing a threat. They should have called police to pursue him, the report says.

Langer and Jones both said they were afraid if they didn't attempt to apprehend Leach, they could be charged with dereliction of duty, though the investigation found that was not the case.

Leach was booked into jail by Dayton police, where he was found to have drugs in his shoe, according to court records. He was released on probation, and arrested again in August on a drug charge, where he was found to again have drugs on him in jail. He was again released on community control.

Leach is currently in prison on an 18 month sentence after he was found to have a gun in his car when police responded to an incident in October involving Leach at an area gentleman's club.

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