(UPDATED with reports listing head kicking allegation, deputy's statement and resignation letter) A Huron County Sheriff's deputy resigned this week after an outside investigator found he injured a man during an arrest last month.
The deputy, Joseph Leroux, 32, of New London, could face criminal charges, according to Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard.
Howard placed Leroux on paid leave just days after an Oct. 30 incident in which Leroux allegedly used excessive force during an arrest.
UPDATE on allegations:
According to documents released via a public records request at about noon Wednesday, Leroux is accused of kicking an inmate in the side of his head, just in front of the inmate's right ear, during an arrest.
The inmate, Jeremy Payne, later told Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Ted Patrick that during Jeremy's arrest, an officer ordered him to put his "face in the dirt" and that he did so, with his arms stretched out in front of him. He said that's when an officer "field goal kicked" him in the face, the report from Patrick stated.
Jeremy said a knot formed on his face in front of his right ear. Patrick wrote in a report that he felt the bump on the right side of the inmate's head, but couldn't feel any bump on the left side.
Jeremy suffered a seizure in the cruiser shortly after his arrest.
An outside agency conducted the investigation and released the results to Huron County this week.
"The investigation clearly indicated that the deputy's actions were not warranted nor justified and were in violation with policies and procedures of the Huron County Sheriff's office," Howard said in a written statement Tuesday.
Leroux resigned Tuesday morning after Howard presented him with the investigation's findings. A union attorney for the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association was also at the meeting, according to Howard.
Howard said he's forwarding the case to Huron County prosecutor Russ Leffler for possible charges.
Leffler said Tuesday night he hadn't reviewed the investigation and didn't want to speculate on potential charges.
The Oct. 30 arrest involved Parma resident Jeremy, 31, who along with his brother led officers and deputies on a high-speed chase after allegedly stealing a snow blower in Fremont.
With James Payne driving, the truck reached speeds close to 100 mph and at one point crossed the median on U.S. 20, driving the wrong way on the highway. Leroux and other deputies caught up with the truck after it crashed on U.S. 250, just north of Norwalk.
As deputies arrested the brothers, Jeremy, the passenger, suffered an apparent seizure and became unresponsive in the back of a cruiser, according to a Sandusky County Sheriff deputy's report.
An ambulance took Jeremy to the emergency room at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
He was booked into the Sandusky County jail that same day and released Nov. 9 on personal bond. He currently awaits a hearing on charges of theft, breaking and entering, receiving stolen property and possession of criminal tools, a jail spokesman said.
Shortly after Jeremy was arrested, Howard said, someone lodged a complaint against Leroux for the way he treated Jeremy during the arrest. Leroux was placed on leave almost immediately, and Howard said he was committed to a thorough investigation.
Even so, Howard has not divulged details about the complaint, citing the ongoing investigation.
He didn't return multiple phone messages left on his cell phone Tuesday evening.
Leroux had no comment when he was initially placed on leave and he didn't return a call to his home Tuesday.
He began his career in Huron County in August 1998 as a corrections officer and became a road deputy in April 2005, according to his personnel file. His most recent salary was $20.30 an hour.
Read Leroux's resignation letter and statement to the media by clicking on the documents below: