Man accused of knocking out probation officer pleads innocent

Cary Ashby • Apr 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

A man accused of punching a Richland County probation officer during an arrest attempt last year had his trial date scheduled Monday.

William G. Brown, 43, is scheduled to go to trial June 6 in Huron County Common Pleas Court. On March 15, a grand jury indicted him on assault in connection with a March 25, 2012 incident.

Brown is accused of assaulting the probation officer "during the employee's official work hours," according to the indictment.

"The charge was filed in Norwalk Municipal Court, but he never appeared there," Huron County Public Defender David Longo told Judge Jim Conway.

Longo, on Brown's behalf Monday, entered a "not guilty" plea to the fifth-degree felony "with reservation" so he possibly could file a motion to dismiss the case. If convicted, Brown faces six to 12 months behind bars.

In late March 2012, several law-enforcement agencies were hunting down Brown.

Police reported having information that Brown, who was wanted on undisclosed warrants out of Louisiana, arrived in Norwalk the night of March 23, 2012 and possibly was staying with relatives.

"They (Louisiana authorities) said they'd be willing to extradite him, so they must be pretty serious felonies," Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light told the Reflector at the time.

The probation officer attempted to arrest Brown at a Deer Track Trail residence on a suspected probation violation.

"The guy (Brown) turned around and punched him. ... The punch either knocked him out or he was knocked out when he hit the ground," Light said.

An ambulance transported the officer to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with what Light described as a "busted lip." Norwalk officers took the man's gun and vehicle to the police station for safekeeping.

Since July 3, Brown has been incarcerated at the Belmont Correctional Institution. Prison records show he is serving a four-year sentence for one count each of possession of criminal tools and failure to comply for convictions through Richland County Common Pleas Court.

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