LIMA — Security was heavy at this year’s St. Gerard Festival, but for the most part, misbehavior at the festival hadn’t been much of a problem until an incident Saturday night.
An African American woman began arguing with a Lima City police officer at 5:45 p.m. The woman, whose name hasn’t been released yet, was leaving the festival, followed by Sgt. Nick Hart.
Hart had gained notoriety a month earlier for breaking up a fight between two minor females near the McDonald’s on West Market Street in a video seen hundreds of times on social media. The NAACP wanted Hart, who was off-duty at the time, working security at McDonald’s, to be disciplined for his actions as he was seen kicking one of the girls in the leg to get them to stop.
Mayor David Berger and Police Chief Kevin Martin both backed the actions of Hart in the way he broke up the fight.
In the latest incident involving Hart, the woman could be seen running away from the officer after she was told she was going to get a ticket for Disorderly Conduct.
Hart tried to get the woman to comply with his commands, but she kept running when Hart tried to bring her down to the ground.
The video doesn’t show the actual tasing of the woman due to a vehicle being in the way. But Hart can later be seen pointing the taser at the woman with the electrical wire running from the taser to the woman’s shirt, which she tried to remove.
Other officers arrived, handcuffing the woman and leading her away.
Sgt. Hart told a police lieutenant at the scene that the woman originally became belligerent with ride operators at the festival and was asked to leave.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.
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