Pevely officer charged with assaulting prisoner

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO – Monday the Jefferson County Prosecutor Office charge a 28-year-old Pevely Officer Cpl. Robert “Ryan” Watson with fourth-degree assault.  The charge stems from an incident on April 23rd, 2019, when Watson is alleged to have assaulted a prisoner in the booking area of the Pevely Police Department.

Another officer with the Pevely Police Department alerted the acting Police chief Capt. Larry Miller to the incident who asked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the incident.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jefferson County Sheriff David Marshak said the alleged victim was being booked for a court violation and that video of the incident showed Watson grabbing the alleged victim by the neck with both hands, forcing the man back onto a bench, and then putting him in a chokehold while taking him down to the ground. Then shoving the victim down inside a holding cell, according to court documents.

The officer was not charged with a felony, as prosecutors say authorities couldn’t prove the victim was injured, as the man did not seek medical treatment.

Police say the victim is a 40-year-old man who insulted Officer Watson just before the incident occurred.

It’s not clear what the employment status of Officer Watson at this time, as city leaders have not responded to request from FOX 2/News 11.

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