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State to probe Struthers beating



Published: Wed, January 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The mayor wanted to avoid the appearance of 'impropriety.'

STRUTHERS -- A state law enforcement agency will take over the criminal investigation of the beating of two men early Saturday at the home of a Struthers police officer.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation agreed Tuesday to investigate the New Year's Day episode, which left a Struthers native hospitalized, according to Mayor Dan Mamula.

Patrolman Xavier Young, who has been a Struthers police officer since 1999, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal police department investigation, which could result in disciplinary action against him.

Struthers Police Chief Bob Norris remains in charge of the internal investigation.

Jason Scott, 26, of Marine City, Mich., was still in St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was taken after the beating. Hospital officials would release no information on his condition.

"Although Struthers detectives were proceeding with the investigation in a timely and thorough manner, we decided it would be best to request the assistance of BCI," Mamula said in a news release on Tuesday. "Doing so will avoid any appearance or perception of impropriety."

Mamula told The Vindicator that the police department would cooperate fully with state investigators. The city asked the bureau Monday to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

"We've turned over all the information we've collected in the last few days," he said. "This is an investigation that we want to move expeditiously."

Police report

In other developments, a police report filed by Young's wife at the Struthers police department on the night of Jan. 1 provides another version of the episode, which she said began with a verbal dispute. It later turned into a melee involving between 20 and 25 people.

Sandra J. Young, 33, told police in a report taken at 9 p.m. New Year's night that Shawn Scott of Struthers, Jason's brother, arrived at the Youngs' Fifth Street residence at about midnight with his two stepdaughters and was asked to leave after being told that the party was for family only.

According to the report, Shawn Scott returned 10 minutes later and was again asked to leave. Sandra Young also saw Jason Scott standing in the back yard, and when she asked him to leave, Jason began to shout profanities and shoved her to the ground.

A shoving match between the two followed and Young's son, Xavier Jr., who had come out of the house, went back inside to get his father.

According to the report, the Struthers officer "escorted Jason to the ground and held him down," then Shawn Scott jumped on Xavier Young's back. Xavier Jr. then tried to pull Shawn Scott off of his father.

The two men left, and police were not called at that time, according to Sandra Young's statement.

The episode that left the two Scotts unconscious in an alley behind the home happened at about 2:30 a.m., and police responded to a call at that time. Young said in her statement that she tried to tell police about the first episode when the Scotts returned, but was told to remain quiet. The report did not specify who told her to remain quiet.

Sandra Young said in her statement to police that she went to Beeghly Medical Park hospital at 5 p.m. New Year's Day for treatment of neck and back pain.

According to the police report, when officers asked her why she waited until 17 hours after the episode to seek medical treatment, she said she had slept most of the day.




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