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Fired Youngstown cop returns to duty

Published: Sat, April 23, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.


Willie Daniel of Youngstown, who is paralyzed from the waist down, explains what happened when his brother was driving the SUV in the background with him as a passenger. He said they were in an accident and a responding officer dragged him from the truck and roughed him up.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



One of two police officers fired in the reported beating of a paralyzed man in 2010 is back on the job.

Officer Jay Fletcher was fired in early June after an investigation into his role in the alleged beating of Willie Daniel, 36, of High Street, who is paralyzed from the waist down. An arbitrator has overturned Fletcher’s dismissal, and he has returned to full duty.

Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said Fletcher will receive back pay for the time period he was off work fighting the termination. Fletcher’s yearly salary was $54,383.

That back pay, Hughes said, will be less any unemployment compensation Fletcher received during that time.

Officer Robert Joliff also was fired. His termination, Hughes said, still stands, but the department is awaiting a ruling from a separate arbitrator in that case.

Joliff was terminated for his alleged role in assaulting Daniel.

Hughes said Fletcher was fired for not reacting properly at the scene of the incident. He said Fletcher is believed to have lied about what he witnessed during the traffic stop that led to the alleged beating.

“We gave [Fletcher] a polygraph test, and he failed that polygraph test based on what he did or didn’t see. We, based on that, believed he was lying to us. He never said Joliff did not hit the guy, but basically said he did not see it,” Hughes said.

Police arrested Daniel and charged him with driving under suspension and reckless operation after a car accident Feb. 27, 2010, on Wilson Avenue.

According to Daniel, he was in a SUV with his brother behind the wheel on Wilson Avenue when they were in a one-car accident. He said his brother left the vehicle to find a pay phone to call Daniel’s wife and a tow truck.

Daniel said a tow truck rode by the accident shortly after his brother left the scene, and he slid into the driver’s seat to flag down the driver. Daniel asked the driver for assistance but said he did not need to have the police called.

The tow truck driver, according to police reports, however, called police because he thought he saw a gun inside the vehicle in which Daniel was sitting. Police did not find a gun, but did find a black stick inside the vehicle.

Joliff arrived at the scene shortly after the call from the tow truck driver.

Daniel said Joliff, at gun point, used an expletive and told him he would hurt him if he moved. Daniel said he told the officer he was paralyzed and could not walk, but the officer told him to be quiet.

Daniel said Joliff handcuffed him through the window, then punched him in the mouth. He said the officer dragged him from the SUV causing his pants to come down.

Daniel said he asked the officer to help get him out of the road because he is handicapped, but was again told to shut up. He said he asked two other officers who had arrived at the scene for help, and Joliff again hit him in the mouth.

Hughes said the officers responded to the call with a heightened sense of awareness because they believed a gun was in the car, but said after it was determined no gun was in the car, there was no need for further aggressive action.

Hughes said police believed Daniel was driving without a license, and the car should have been towed and a summons issued.

“I don’t condone police brutality in any fashion. I would like to see a system that removes brutality on any level, and it’s my goal to do that,” he said.

The original charges against Daniel were dismissed, and he was ultimately charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which was amended to a physical-control violation. He was fined $200 plus court costs and placed on nine months’ probation.


1MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey, you don't put on kid gloves when a firearm is reported.

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2karol207(42 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry but I still think that Daniel over exaggerated things and some of it never happened.
As far as one officer is back and the other isn't, hmmm history repeats it's self :-(

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3MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I remember the original story. It's since changed and he has not only masked details to fit the case, but lied initially, and resisted arrest. Hell, his wife came up and interfered and was arrested too. He claims they slammed her on the hood. His brother was supposedly the one that left him in the SUV, basically fleeing the seen because they were both intoxicated. He said he went to find a pay phone. Where? His house? Like he didn't have a cell phone? Willie was twice the legal limit and belligerent. He may have even been driving. But that bs version of him sliding into the driver's seat to stop flag down the tow truck who reported him as having a gun doesn't flush either. Don't put me on a jury. I've already seen the evidence. He's getting off light and they're martyring these cops. Then again, Joliff is probably going to be fine since he confidently feel down at work a week after the allegations. Workers comp and disability will take care of him instead of the pension he'll forfeit.

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4MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Ha. Seen... maybe I should proof read these after I get done running my man-pleaser before I post?

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5Doctore(52 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

@mattmarzula....almost completely on point.

However, martyring is not correct. That would point to a "noble" cause. These guys have, as have many police officers, been offered up as sacrificial lambs. Appeasement to a fingerpointing group that feels they can act how they want and do what they want with no accountability.

I have the utmost respect for the men and women in blue, and still don't know how you can do your job. Careers and reputations repeatedly ruined over dirtball career criminals.

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6Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't be a cop because of useless losers like these. I would've done more to this diaper wearing coward waste of DNA loser. And what gets me is this bum is probably laughing it up with his malt liquor buddies about the cops being fired because of him. What goes around comes around slick Willie.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Poor old Willie ! His wheels were destroyed and his diaper was exposed while being arrested . Now that arresting him is off limits he is free to once again drive and enjoy the malt liquor . Willie likes to be cool on his stool . Since his driving using a stick to manipulate the pedals caused the wreck that made him vulnerable to arrest , we should have a fundraiser to get him a new set of wheels with hand controls . A job down at city hall as a greeter on the front desk should also be on the agenda .

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8Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

"i believe that we will always have people speaking good for police officers even when the officers are caught on film committing an illegal act.."

If you show me proof of someone committing a illegal act he would never get my support. Is there a video of slick willie getting his butt whipped by the officers? Did he seek medical attention? Did he have anything done on his body to warrant he got his diaper a@# whipped? Venture to guess, Nope!
Funny how diaper wearing slick willie has a past record and still does sh@3 to have the police involved. Think he would grow up already and be a man instead of whining crying little baby.

"how many times has an officer been caught on tape or accused of committing a crime and still they are working for the police dept."

???? You tell me.

"police assault complaints are on the rise... they have gone up every year for several years now... please check the facts and you will see this is true..."

You know why there up every year? Because you look at a CRIMINAL the wrong way it's police abuse. A officer tells you to get down a million times and it's abuse. You know, NO ONE, would have to deal with the police if they OBEY the law like normal citizens. Is that so hard?

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9fedupwithcrap(317 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Why is it that Vindy.com is stopping the freedom of speech and stopping the comments on the Youngstown Man Caught Tailing police (jamie ludt)? Number one story, yet I can't make any more comments, why? Is this how the vindy stops the truth from being told?

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10fedupwithcrap(317 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

fedupwithcrap (anonymous) says...
Lets go back as far as 2007, as people have claimed on here, that Ludt edits his videos. And see as this video was clearly not edited, and he got the eyewitnesses right then and there that Pat Bundy, Captain, came to Ludts house cussing at him!! The minutes and seconds are clearly on this tape!!

You watch this video, Captain Bundy sent pictures of Jamie Ludt and his underage son to his house, does this now make him a pedophile for taking pictures of underage children? (Charlie Sheen syndrome winning)

Ask the vindy why that story about Tailing officers was shut down.

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11ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

PLEEEAAASE!!!!! Do not trash any other of the stories, you have done enough damage, if you keep it up they will stop you from posting altogether, there has to be something in the rules that you are breaking. Are you watching Vindy?

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