LIMA — An attorney wants a case thrown out in court after he questioned a patrolman’s actions the night of the incident Thursday.
David Drew, an attorney for Tyler Paxson, of Spencerville, questioned Lima Police Patrolman Nathaniel Garlock about why he decided to initially question Paxson in July.
Judge David Cheney, who heard the hearing, said he would give his written opinion within a few days.
When Garlock arrived on scene at 3:21 a.m. July 12 in the 100 block of Haller Street, he spotted Paxson and said he was highly intoxicated and had bloodshot eyes.
The prosecution called Garlock to the stand to give his testimony of that evening.
Garlock noticed another man in the alley, holding two open beer cans where Paxson’s arrest took place, but did not question him after taking the beer cans from his hands.
Garlock indicated that he was investigating the party initially, not to make an arrest. “I wasn’t looking for anything in particular at the time, I was just there to investigate. I had only been there less than a minute,” Garlock said.
Drew said once Garlock saw a person walking down an alley in between two buildings, his investigation shifted from the party to a person. “Now you’re doing something different other than what you were called there for,” Drew said.
Garlock agreed and said this is a common practice in the line of police work.
Because of his level of intoxication, Garlock said Paxson was a danger to himself and others, giving Garlock the reason to arrest him, as well as Garlock’s suspicion of Paxson’s age.
When asked, Paxson said he was 21 years old that night, but failed to present Garlock his driver’s license.
Paxson was 19 at the time.
Drew said he wants the case dismissed because of the lack of reasonable suspicion to make the stop. Drew argued that after Garlock made the stop, the question was then if he had probable cause to make the arrest.
Paxson is currently facing one count of felonious assault, a fourth degree felony which could carry 18 months in prison.
According to a police statement released in December, Paxson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.17, more than twice the legal limit to drive in Ohio, although Paxson was on foot when officers encountered him.