Man charged with assaulting Liverpool cop

EAST LIVERPOOL – An East Liverpool was charged with assault with a police officer after an incident that started in Liverpool Township Friday night.

According to township police, officers responded to 323 Wood Alley for a report of a burglary in progress, where resident Michael Badgley said his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend had shown up, yelling and trying to get into the house. Badgley told him to go away and when the man, identified as Mark R. Smith II, broke out a window and tried to climb through, Badgley told officers he swung a baseball bat at him, causing Smith to retreat and run off.

Footprints from the scene were followed by officers to Smith’s house on Richardson Avenue. They spotted him walking toward Badgley’s home and took him into custody on a burglary charge.

Smith reportedly asked Lt. Justin Wright to be handcuffed in the front and Wright complied since Smith had given him no trouble.

En route to the county jail, Wright left the partition between the back seat and front seat open so he and Smith could talk and while Smith was talking about his life and how he was a “loser,” Wright reported, he suddenly dove through the open partition and grabbed the officer by the head, trying to pull him toward the passenger seat.

As Wright tried to keep the cruiser on the road, Smith tried to crawl through the partition, even as Wright was striking him with his elbow and fist. Wright pulled out his Taser with his left hand as Smith tried to break the officer’s shotgun free from its safety rack, according to reports.

Wright managed to swing the cruiser into the Smith Oil parking lot in Lisbon and radio for help, then dry stunned Smith repeatedly with the Taser until the prisoner retreated through the window.

After Wright closed and locked the partition, Smith reportedly began kicking at the passenger window and when Wright opened the door, Smith kicked him with both feet in the stomach. Smith was hit again with the Taser and pulled to the ground until Lisbon police officers arrived and helped re-cuff him and shackle his legs.

According to Wright, Smith continued to bang his head on the partition and threaten the officer all the way to the jail, where he also was confrontational to jail personnel.

In addition to the assault charge, Smith was charged by Wright with menacing and escape.