West Chester Township recently reached a settlement with a Blanchester man, paying him $265,000 for a May 2012 incident in which township police repeatedly hit him with batons at a West Chester bar.
Surveillance video of the incident was released to the media in June. It showed three officers approaching Jeremy Lewis, 29, on the deck of Win, Place or Show Sports Bar & Grill in West Chester Township about 2:30 a.m. May 6.
When the video was released, West Chester Police Chief Erik Niehaus explained his officers’ actions.
According to Niehaus, Lewis was suspected of being involved in an altercation earlier at the bar. Niehaus said Lewis took a “fighting stance to the officers” and refused their orders. The officers struck Lewis with their batons and used chemical irritants to subdue him.
Lewis faced three assault charges, as well as charges of obstructing official business and resisting arrest, but a Butler County grand jury declined to indict him.
As part of the agreement, which was signed by Lewis on Nov. 30, neither he nor his attorneys are allowed to comment on the incident.
The officers involved, Randall Farris, Paul Lovell and Gary Gabbard, remained on duty after the incident. West Chester Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson said all three officers were cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation.