Friday, June 22, 2018

US Police Officer Fired After Pulling Over His Daughter's Boyfriend

A Lorain police officer was fired after an internal investigation found he abused his authority by conducting a traffic stop on his daughter’s boyfriend without cause and temporarily detained his daughter and her boyfriend in the back of his squad car.

Safety-Service Director Dan Given, Police Chief Cel Rivera and other command officers noted John Kovach Jr., a patrolman who joined the force in 1992, violated various sections of the department’s standards of conduct and policy and procedures during the April 16 incident.

He was fired May 11 and Given said the incident has been referred to County Prosecutor Dennis Will for review.

“These actions are not acceptable for members of our Police Department and we felt it warranted immediate dismissal,” Given said. The Police Department’s union is appealing the decision.

According to an internal investigation completed by Lt. Ed Super as well as dashcam footage from Kovach’s cruiser, shortly before 6 p.m. on April 16 a silver vehicle with a driver and three passengers passed Kovach’s patrol car in the same direction that he was facing on West 34th Street. Without alerting dispatch, Kovach initiates a stop.

He tells the driver, his daughter’s boyfriend Makai Coleman, 18, to get out because he’s “going to jail.” Coleman asks Kovach what for and Kovach responds: “Have a seat in my car. We’ll make (expletive) up as we go.” Coleman goes and sits in Kovach’s cruiser.

Kovach then addresses Gloria Morales, who comes out of her home nearby because her children are two of the three people in the car with Coleman. He tells Morales his daughter’s computer is inside her house and while she initially gives him permission to search the house, she later tells him to come back with a search warrant when he threatens to give her daughter a $300 ticket for not wearing her seatbelt.

Morales and Kovach argue back and forth after Kovach tells her to go inside the house. When she says she is calling 911, he threatens to arrest her, telling her it is not an emergency, according to documents related to the firing. He tells her two children to get out of the car and go with Morales. At that point, he notices his daughter, Katlyn Kovach, 18, in the backseat.

At that point, Kovach tells Coleman to get out of the cruiser and he pushes his daughter into the cruiser while she protests that she is 18 and can’t be arrested for without cause. He eventually gets her into the cruiser and drives away.

While all of that was going on, Kovach had been called to a road rage incident on Leavitt Road. According to the dashcam footage, Kovach does not respond to the call from dispatch.

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