Man appears in court for assaulting police officer

LISBON — Todd A. Kirtley, 31, South Washington Street, East Palestine, was bound over to the grand jury after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing in county Municipal Court on Monday. Kirtley is charged with assault on a police officer for allegedly charging and repeatedly punching Patrolman Matt Elser on April 6.

Elser reportedly had climbed in through a window after Kirtley had ran back into the home and locked the doors behind him. Elser was at the East Palestine home investigating a domestic violence incident involving Kirtley’s mother, Darla Stanley. Court documents state Elser unlocked the door knowing another police officer from Columbiana, Jen Calko would be arriving to assist. Elser reportedly told Kirtley to stay on the couch, but Kirtley charged him and a taser fired at Kirtley had no affect.

Court documents state Kirtley punched Elser in the head and face about 15 to 20 times using a “hammer fist” method and telling Elser he was going to kill him.

Police accounts of the attack noted at one point, Elser fired his service weapon at Kirtley to try to stop the attack and the round missed Kirtley. Calko arrived and deployed her taser, which temporarily affected Kirtley giving officers a chance to arrest Kirtley.

Kirtley had two grandparents and a stepfather in the courtroom supporting him during Monday’s hearing. After the hearing, the family members said Kirtley has had long time mental health problems and had actually gone three days without his medication sometime prior to what happened.

During the hearing, Kirtley’s defense attorney, Stacey Alejars asked for a reduction in the $250,000 cash or surety bond Kirtley is currently being held on at the county jail. Alejars said Kirtley would like to get out so he can have his medication adjusted.

Judge Timothy McNicol said he has reviewed the information in the affidavit and based on what he read, he was denying the request for a change of bond.

Besides the fourth-degree felony assault on a police officer charge, Kirtley is charged with misdemeanors of aggravated menacing, resisting arrest and domestic violence stemming from the same incident. Those charges will be bound over with the felony to the grand jury.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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