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Cops and Courts

Fired Avon police officer pleads guilty in Cleveland casino incident

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A fired Avon police officer pleaded guilty to attempted assault in connection with the incident that led to his April arrest at Jack Cleveland Casino for disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

James Cline, 31, pleaded guilty to the amended charged earlier this week in Cleveland Municipal Court. He had faced a first-degree misdemeanor charge of assault, but the charge was amended to attempted assault, a minor misdemeanor. A charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to court documents.

Cline was terminated by the city of Avon in June, according to a letter signed by Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen and Avon Police Chief Richard Bosley.

According to the termination letter, Cline was fired for malfeasance, failure of good behavior, and violation of city and department policy.

Cline had been on administrative leave from the department following the April 6 incident. While off-duty, Cline allegedly assaulted a security guard at the downtown casino while intoxicated.

Between 10 and 11 p.m. the night of the incident, Cline tried to look up the skirt of a cocktail server at the casino, and when approached by a casino security manager, he spat beer at him, the termination letter said.

While Cline was being escorted from the casino, he presented credentials that identified him as an Avon police officer and “committed a violent and unprovoked assault on the security manager,” the letter said.

“Subsequently, you were arrested by (Cleveland police) and charged with disorderly conduct intoxication and then assault; you provided the address of the Avon Police Department to (Cleveland police) as your home address,” the termination letter said. “Following these (incidents), multiple media outlets (print and television) conveyed the information of your alleged actions, arrest and employment with the Avon Department of Police to the public.”

The letter also stated that while in custody of Cleveland police, Cline was “uncooperative” and had to be secured with handcuffs, secured to a bench and had a spit hood placed over his head.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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