Opinion: Sandusky police video shows good effort

Excerpt from the editorial Viewpoint in this Sunday's Register: The effort by the officers to subdue and handcuff Recio might not have been a perfect execution, but, in our opinion, it was a good effort and the officers did what they had to do to protect the community and themselves at the same time.
Sep 28, 2012


*See videos of the arrest here and here

We're confident the emerging leadership of the department will look at how the arrest was executed in a proper manner, and what might not have been a perfect about it. There might even be a question as to whether the police should have called off the chase because the danger it created, but we're also confident the police officers who responded did the best they could and will learn from the experience how to better serve residents. There's a fine line between necessary restraint and excessive force. In this case, it appears to us the officers did not cross that line.

In the end, police got their man and we're not too uncomfortable with how they did it. In fact, if we had been on the scene with those officers as civilians, some of us very well might have wanted to punch Recio in the nose for his irresponsible and criminal behavior that created a dangerous and deadly situation for everyone.


Be sure to buy the Sunday Register for the entire Viewpoint and advertiser specials that can save you more than $200 on your next shopping trip.




SR Trying to get some brownie points


Recio is lucky he didn't pull that in Columbus or Cleveland....they would have shot him the second he didn't show his hands.


Looks like the Register realized they went this far this time and is trying to make up for it now...

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment MrSandusky. It's understandable, perhaps, that you might see it this way, but there was no realization as you suggest. It was the police department, not the Register editorial board, that ordered an internal investigation. The members of the editorial board simply called it as we saw it after reviewing all three of the videos the SPD released. 



I am alright with everything but the kick in the face. There was already 6 SPD's there. The guy is getting tased why kick him in the face?


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

Julie R.

This is what should have been done to Curtis Clinton instead of these two-bit thugs. Every cop in Sandusky, including the sheriff's department, should have been on that monster's doorstep within 30 minutes of a 17-year-old reporting that she had been brutally raped and strangled by a registered sex offender ex-con that just got out of prison after serving 13 years for the brutal rape and strangulation death of an 18-year-old.


"undersatandable", Matt ? Now everyone will think the devil made you do it ! LOL

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for catching the typo, Reader. I fixed it. No devil or Flip Wilson intended. 


Apparently my comment was too blunt, let me rephrase. Is this the SR trying to apologize in some way for making Orman look like a thug with their articles that mislead the citizens as to who he punched and who he is talking to in the back of his car when calling himself a "pitbull"? It seems to me that SR thought the public would be heated about what these officers did, and that clearly back fired. Now, since your primary market base is the citizens of Sandusky and you don't want a ticket every time you're going 1 mph over the speed limit, nor do you want the SPD taking their time if you ever call 911 (which I'm sure these outstanding officers would respond immediately no matter what light you show them in) you're covering your tracks.

Matt Westerhold

Dear jes1413: Probably your comment was deleted due to the profanity and name calling, not for it's bluntness. You're welcome to share your opinion even if it's not aligned accurately with the information, but additional violations will cause you to lose comment privileges.  Please review the comment guidelines and keep these in mind for future posts. Thanks. 


So if the SR felt this way to begin with, why did it put bad information in there about who the suspect was in the back seat of the patrol car and when Officer Orman called himself a "Pitbull"? YOU obviously had all the videos, access to the police report. You guys cut and pasted those videos to fit what you wanted and how you wanted THEN wrote an artical to fit this! And you know what... If he or the Police Station, or any of the guys call him "The Pitbull" I believe actors and actresses, football players, baseball players, ect.... get nicknames for things they do good or bad! Isn't sniffing out the bad guy a good thing seeing as how they are Police Officers? Just MY Oppinion!

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment, Gunner10. The video showing the arrest of Recio was not made available to the SR until a day, or two after the initial videos were released by the SPD and posted here. None of the videos were "cut and pasted" and none of the reporting was produced in the way you suggest. The "Pitbull" comment was made by the officer and captured in the video from inside the police cruiser.  I'm not aware of a misidentification of the suspect but if there was an error initially it would not have been intentional and the reporter would seek to correct that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.   


I'm gonna have to back up the editorial team on this one. The fact is that the decision to discuss how that night was handled came internally, without provocation from the SR, or citizen response. SR did no more than deliver news. Lang, Orzech and Orman will meet to discuss it. And in truth, they SHOULD sit down and discuss it. The guys SHOULD be commended for taking down the bad guy and all of them getting home intact, but there was certainly ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. SR has come to that conclusion, and I had to watch the video several times, and I mean SEVERAL, to also eventually come to the correct conclusion...and Chief Lang and Orzech agree.
1) Was the high speed chase necessary? Either one of them could have hit a pedestrian (did anyone see the man crossing the tracks when the cars approached on Campbell?). Orman could have hit, or been hit by, an oncoming car when crossing Columbus onto Lane (that's a tough spot to see the car coming north up from the underpass until you're right at the turn).
2) The three officers that entered last in the "tussle" need suggestions on how they can be helpful, and how officer West should be a great example to them on how to react in that situation next time.
>>It looked like a clown cop skit until suddenly..."Da-da-dadaaaa! Heeerre I am, to save the daaayyyyy!" ..."Back up! Back UP!!", yells West. Using experience and his super power ability for sound judgement, he deploys the taser. "You boys got it from here" he can be heard saying as he dashes off in search of the other bad guys to get off the street. (But seriously, good work ;) )


The Register is back stepping on this one. Six cops on one person tasering and hitting him. If the Register was going to back step, they shouldn't have showed the video in the first place. How do you account for the assistant police chief giving an excuse out right away that the cop is young? Why is he already giving out an excuse if nothing wrong happened?


I'm with czech on this. This is just a newspaper people. I don't feel like they beat up the SPD. The SPD has had issues that are in no way the fault of the SR. I had my issues with SR years ago over some biased reporting but I moved on YEARS ago. Nothing or no one is perfect but it seems like some of you to expect the SR to be. I say get over yourselves. This is a free country. Just like you have the right to speak your mind you also have the right to read other papers or go on other sites. Don't grumble and stay, grumble and be on your merry way!

Julie R.

Some of the same commenters that jumped all over the Register for showing this video about the Sandusky police also made up flat-out lies about the 61-year-old man that was shot 24 times on his front porch by the Bellevue police.


It appears that the SR has been reading the comments of the people on this one and has ammended its hypothesis by the opinions of the people. Perhaps it feels that siding with the police on this one is better than having it's readers "gang" up on the SR.

I have to admire that for once. Admitting defeat in the face of a huge turn out for the police officer who did his duty takes some "brass" rather than siding with the powers that be. Good for you, Mr. Westerhold.

For once you are seeing it the way of the populus instead of the way of the 'city' powers is refreshing.

The main populus of the city IS getting sick and tired of being held captive by a criminal element in this town and sick and tired of having the city police department who his held captive by a group of people who cries foul every time a criminal is held accountable for their actions.

Glad to see the SR stand by the cops for once. It must hurt a little to have to do this, as you have not always done this with this particular officer. I will have to give you credit.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for your comment wiredmama, but you disregarded the information that's been provided and the assumptions about the SR's motives you've made here are not accurate. 


Oh, I don't know, I think the information provided has not been disregarded at all. You sided with the police officer and I said so. That isn't disregarding anything, Matt. However, my assumptions are mine which makes them opinions, not necessarily fact but so they don't have to be accurate. They are based on past reports read in the SR and based on stories and editorials you have written.

Like someone famous once said, "I came to praise Cesear, not to bury him". LOL

Have a great day, Mr. Westerhold.