PEVELY, MO - The Pevely Police Department released surveillance video appearing to show one of its officers grabbing and shoving a man in custody. Two officers were fired and one was charged with a misdemeanor as a result of the incident.
According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney's office charged Cpl. Robert “Ryan” Watson, 28, with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The charge stems from an incident on April 23 when Watson is alleged to have assaulted a prisoner in the booking area of the Pevely Police Department.
Another officer with the department alerted the acting police chief, Capt. Larry Miller, to the incident who asked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
Jefferson County Sheriff David Marshak said the alleged victim was being booked for a court violation. Surveillance video of the incident released by the police department showed Watson grabbing the alleged victim by the neck, forcing the man back onto a bench, putting him in a chokehold while taking him down to the ground, then shoving the victim inside a holding cell.
Investigators said the 40-year-old man made insulting comments to Watson before the incident.
The officer was not charged with a felony because prosecutors said authorities could not prove the victim was injured and the man did not seek medical treatment.
Last week, Watson and another officer were fired by the Pevely Board of Alderman in a unanimous decision. The other officer, Wayne Casey, can be seen in the surveillance video sitting at a desk in the booking area when the incident happened.
Watson had been with the department for about two and a half years. Casey had been with the department for about a year.