New Middletown officer’s pursuit violated policy

Staff report

New middletown

The village police officer involved in a pursuit last week violated the police department’s policy.

Paul Frazzini received a “corrective action” because of the policy violation. He was instructed to review the department’s pursuit policy.

Chief Vincent D’Egidio said that according to the police, an officer in a pursuit should slow down or stop at intersections with either stop signs or traffic lights as a safety precaution. After reviewing the dashboard camera from a Springfield Township cruiser, the department determined that Frazzini didn’t slow at the intersection of Middletown and Unity roads during the early part of the pursuit.

Frazzini began following the car driven by Daniel Khawli, 24, of Austintown, after seeing Khawli speeding on state Route 170. The officer called off the chase after losing sight of Khawli’s vehicle near Evans Lake.

Khawli died a short time later after crashing into a utility pole and a church sign at the five points intersection.

D’Egidio said he took the opportunity to refresh all officers on safe driving during emergencies, and Sgt. Charles Van Dyke of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office will instruct the class for village police officers.

The department also will buy a driving program from the National Safety Council to use as an annual update.

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