CANTON, Ohio - Internal affairs officers are investigating a second incident involving a Canton police officer already on leave for making death threats against a man during a traffic stop, according to Thomas Ream, the public safety director for the city of Canton.
On the eight-minute police cruiser dash cam video, officer Daniel Harless can be heard repeatedly threatening to kill and insulting the four people inside the car, including Massillon resident Anthony Leone.
“I was freaked out,” Leone said. “The whole time he’s telling me he’s going to blow my brains out if I move."
Harless and his partner pulled over Leone and his friends on July 29, 2010 on suspicion of drunk driving. On the video, you can hear Harless lose his temper after he discovers a gun under the front passenger seat of their car.
During a tirade that lasts several minutes, you can hear Harless say, “I’ll shoot you in the face and I’ll go to sleep tonight” and “do not (expletive) move a muscle or I’ll put you in the grave.”
Harless also refers to the passengers several times as “stupid” and “idiots.” Leone was convicted for not having a permit for the gun.
He was not aware of the video of his arrest until a friend saw the video online Friday. He said it was painful to watch.
“I just saw it today. That’s the first time I seen it and it brought back some bad memories,” Leone said.
“At this point, we can’t undo what has been done. What we need to do is move forward and handle the circumstances appropriately and that’s what we’ve been trying to do,” Ream said.
Ream said he will review the police department’s policies and procedures after the department’s internal affairs investigation is finished in order to avoid any “repeat performances.”
Police began investigating Harless after William Bartlett complained about the officer’s behavior during his June 8 arrest.
"I was scared and I'm still a little nervous. I don't want to see that officer. I'm afraid of what he might do," Bartlett said.
Bartlett spoke exclusively to NewsChannel5, one day after the dash cam video of his encounter with the officer went viral.
"People were shocked to see what they seen on TV. You should have been there in my shoes,"Bartlett said.
On the video, you can clearly hear the officer yelling and swearing at Bartlett, calling him a "stupid idiot" and "a dummy."
During one of the most intense moments of the video, Harless said, "I should have took two steps back, pulled my Glock .40 and just put 10 bullets in your (expletive) and just let you drop and I wouldn't have lost any sleep!"
Officer Harless became furious after Bartlett said he had a concealed carry permit and a gun. Harless yelled, "You are supposed to say that right off the (expletive) bat."
Bartlett is heard responding, "I'm sorry. I was trying to."
The group, Ohioans for Concealed Carry, which first posted the video, said Bartlett tried to the tell the officer about his permit, but Harless kept interrupting and the tongue lashing just kept getting worse.
"People like you don't deserve to (expletive) move throughout public," Harless said on the video.
Harless was placed on administrative leave without pay, but is currently being paid through sick leave.
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