Retired county jail sergeant claims cover-up of pepper-spray incident

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:55 PM

Former jail sergeant alleges cover-up in interview

Amber Swink was in a seven-point restraint chair in a holding cell here at the jail when she was pepper-sprayed. But no one in the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office was ever able to produce any video of the incident.

However, in an exclusive interview with our partners at the Dayton Daily News, retired Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Banks says he made a copy from the jail's surveillance system after he claims he received an e-mail that made him believe it was all about to be swept under the rug.

"It's very clear the intention was for the incident to remain hidden from the media, from the public," he said.

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Banks just received a medical retirement a few weeks ago.

But he says he made his concerns known to supervisors while he was still on the job, just after this 2015 pepper-spray incident, asking them about potential discipline or an internal investigation.

"There was no effort whatsoever in preserving a copy so they could look into the incident," Banks said.

Banks claims that after he received an email claiming all video of 2015 incidents had been lost from the system, he made a copy of the pepper-spraying.

It ended up in the hands of Amber Swink's lawyer - she's the woman restrained in the chair.

She'd been brought to the jail, accused of assault on a police officer at a party, for which she later received five years’ probation.

Jail records indicate she was yelling repeatedly, possibly cussing and placed in the restraint chair.

When she continued yelling, then Sheriff's Sgt. Judith Sealey, who was later promoted to major, went in and pepper-sprayed her, according to those records.

Banks claims he went to his superiors, even to the FBI.

"I want people to know I tried to do the right thing," he said.

Sealey has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge.

WHIO-TV reached out to the sheriff's office about Banks's claims.

News Center 7's Mike Campbell said the personnel director at the sheriff's office sent him an email that reads, in part, "As we do have an ongoing investigation that is not complete, the sheriff's office cannot presently answer your questions."

He said the sheriff's office also told him in the email that they can't address the settlement with Amber Swink because of a confidentiality agreement that limits them to statements that the lawsuit was settled amicably.

Court documents indicate Swink received $375,000.

Campbell said News Center 7 reached out to her attorney as well Thursday, but he also said he could not comment on the case.

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Middletown police warn of impersonators pulling people over

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 11:03 PM



Nick Graham
(Nick Graham)

Middletown police are warning residents about a group of teens pulling people over impersonating police officers.

Police made the public warning on its Facebook page on Sunday evening.

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Police said four white teens are driving around Middletown in a blue or gray convertible that has a light on the dashboard as well as a loud speaker and air horn.

Anyone with any information about these people or who may have seen this vehicle are asked to call police dispatch at 513-425-7700, option 0.

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New Ronald McDonald Family Room opens inside Dayton Children's Hospital

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 8:51 PM

The Ronald McDonald House now has a new family room after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday afternoon.

The new and spacious family room opened up inside the Dayton Children’s Hospital, according to a release.

The room is in the west wing of the hospital and has computers, napping pods, a kitchen, laundry, and shower facilities. It’s also furnished with a La-Z-Boy, along with staffing and resources provided by RMHC Dayton.

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Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton and Dayton Children’s Hospital held the opening for the new 2,500 square foot family room on the fourth floor, which was moved from the second flour.

In partnership with Dayton Children’s Hospital, this new Ronald McDonald Family Room was designed with the specific needs of families with impatient children in mind. These spaces help parents to stay close to their sick children.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Kettering Medical Center hosts reunion for NICU babies and families

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 7:50 PM

NICU babies reunited at Kettering Medical Center

More than 300 people celebrated a reunion for children born in a NICU and their families Sunday afternoon in the Nelson Conference Center located at 3535 Southern Blvd. 

Kettering Health Network hosted their third reunion for children who were patients in the hospital’s Level III B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), according to a release.

Kettering Medical Center’s Level III B Maternity Unit and NICU provides advanced care in one location for patients coping with high-risk pregnancies and fragile infants. The NICU serves all Kettering Health Network maternity centers. 

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OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Attendance down at Middletown balloon event due to rainy weather

Today was a chance for families and health care providers to check-in on how those graduate children and their families were doing, and included babies born from 2015 to 2017.

Jackie and Danny Milling welcomed their twin daughters Bexley and June into the world last October. “I carried them to 35 weeks pretty good for twins. They still had a lot of things they needed help with,” said Mrs. Milling.

She credits the care she received at the NICU for helping her family get to a healthy start. “The NICU here at Kettering helped out little girls thrive and survive and become just as healthy as they can be.”

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This reunion was a second chance for the Millings to meet with what they call their second family. “They get to see our kids grow so much even though they’re still little. It was I think just brought up a lot of fond strong memories,” said Mrs. Milling.

“This is what fills our bucket and brings us back to our home away from home here in the Kettering NICU,” said Clinical Nurse Manager for the NICU Ginny Dalton.  

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Guest speaker Judge Hatchett spoke about Women’s Day at church in Dayton

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 6:35 PM

Judge Hatchett St Luke

News Center 7’s Letitia Perry introduced TV personality Judge Glenda Hatchett Sunday morning as a guest speaker at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church located at 2262 N. Gettysburg Avenue. 

This service was the culmination of a month’s long celebration of activities focused on women called, “The Queen in You.” “I am inviting all women to join me this month as we celebrate women exuding Christian values,” said First Lady of St. Luke Baptist Church Jasmine Allen.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Good Samaritan Hospital officially closes down for good early Monday

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Judge Hatchett spoke for a Women’s Day Service to inspire women of the community, according to a release. She spoke about empowering and encouraging the women of the community to be their authentic selves and to utilize power within.

This event featured a 50-voice women’s choir, and the St. Luke’s Praise Dance Ministry. 

Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church Rev. Renard D. Allen Jr. said the church was excited about bringing Judge Hatchett to the Dayton community because she is a perfect representation of this year’s Women’s Day theme.

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“Deeply rooted in the Christian faith, Judge Hatchett is an elegant and electrifying speaker with an ability to reach people across racial, gender, political, and even religious lines,” said Rev. Allen. “She uses her faith, knowledge, experience, and enormous success to inspire others to seize one of life’s greatest opportunities: to make a difference in the world from where we are. We expect the women of St. Luke and the city of Dayton will never be the same after hearing Judge Hatchett speak!”

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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