Union City, Ind. man claims police threw him to the ground in racially driven incident

Union City, Ind. man claims police threw him to the ground in racially driven incident
Calvin Wilson receiving treatment following an incident involving police in Union City, Ohio March 17. (Contributed photo from Wilson's family)

UNION CITY, Ohio — A Union City, Indiana man said he’s asking for answers from the police on the Ohio side of the city following an incident involving officers that sent him to the hospital with multiple injuries earlier this year.

Calvin Wilson said he was hospitalized with a broken hand, broken tooth, and was severely bleeding after a Union City, Ohio officer threw him to the ground during the March 17 incident. Wilson said his hand injury requires an additional surgery that is scheduled for August.

According to Wilson, he and a friend of his son were walking and looking for his son. While they were walking Wilson said an officer approached him and gave him one demand to take his hand out of his pockets.

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“The police saw me, they made a U-turn, and said ‘take your hands out of your pockets'”, Wilson said in an interview News Center 7′s Mike Campbell. “Before I could respond to the command he grabbed me from behind, grabbed my jacket, threw me to the ground, and put his knee in my back, and had me in a chokehold. While the other officer is handcuffing me.”

“I asked them ‘why did you do this to me?' They said because they had a 911 call that someone left McDonalds with a gun,” Wilson said. “So I said ‘what does that have to do with me?”

Wilson said he was transported to the police station in Indiana before he was eventually taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. Wilson said he was not carrying a gun, and said he would have answered the officer’s questions if they were asked before the officers took him into custody.

“(The officer) could have came and asked me questions. He didn’t have to come and throw me down and do what he did. I don’t think that’s right.”

Wilson added he was not arrested and has not received any answers from police in the months after the incident explaining the use of force.

Wilson claims the officers’ actions were racially charged and they approached the first black people that they saw while they were investigating their initial report.

According to Union City, Ohio police the incident stemmed from a report of a gun that was pulled on a woman at the Clark gas station on East Main Street. Police Chief Mark Ater Jr. said officers were provided by dispatchers the descriptions of two black males who left the scene at the gas station.

The Clark gas station is on the Ohio side of the border. The McDonalds in Wilson’s version of the incident is on the Indiana side, but is about one block west of the gas station.

“While responding to the area of the incident, two black males matching the description from dispatch were located walking in the 200 block of West Pearl Street,” Ater said in a media release. “Both male subjects stopped and were further ordered to remove their hands from their pockets for the officers’ safety. Both male subjects were informed that the officers were investigating a call regarding two black males having brandished a firearm in the area.”

Ater added that one of the subjects complied with the officer’s orders, while the other, identified as Wilson, did not.

“Wilson stated to the officers on multiple occasions that he did not have to remove his hands from his pockets, and that he did not have to listen to their orders,” Ater said in the media release.

“For the officers’ safety at the scene, an officer grabbed Wilson’s left wrist and removed his hand from his pocket. Wilson then attempted to pull his arm away from the officer and place his left hand back into his pocket,” Ater said.

The officers involved then used a “balance displacement technique” on Wilson “to control and limit his resistance,” Ater said.

“In doing so, Wilson sustained injuries to his head, face, and finger. Wilson continued to resist while the officers placed him in custody,” Ater said.

Police said they submitted charges to the Randolph County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office. However, police did not say what incident or incidents they were presenting charges against Wilson or what specific charges they were pursuing. News Center 7 is still awaiting a response from the prosecutor’s office about the status of the case and any potential charges.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.