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Traffic stop caught on camera causes controversy

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WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A traffic stop in Washington Township was caught on camera Sunday, and witnesses say the police officer involved was out of line.

Those who live on Pineridge say the neighborhood is pretty quiet, but what should have been a routine traffic stop has caught the residents by surprise.

Aaron Tatkowski says he spent Sunday with his family, and when he returned home, he noticed his daughter-in-law had been pulled over by a Washington Township Police officer.

The police report states Cassandra Meyers was cited for a license plate violation. Tatkowski says he didn't like the way the officer was talking to Meyers, so he questioned the officer about his behavior.

"He hollered for me to get back in my truck, so I got back in my truck," Tatkowski said. "Next thing you know, I'm yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things. He yanked her out of the truck."

Tatkowski says the officer threw him, his girlfriend, his daughter-in-law, and 14-year-old son to the ground.

The police report says commands were not listened to, so Officer Hart got out his taser and handgun. Tatkowski says he complied with Hart, but worried for his two granddaughters, who were still in his truck, so he asked witnesses to start recording what was happening.

"It was totally uncalled for, the way [the officer] was using force on people," said Jim Stechschulte, a witness. "I'm sorry to say that, but that's the way it is and if they don't like it, so be it."

Tatkowski was treated on the scene and taken to the hospital with a cut to his elbow and knee. According to the police report, Officer Hart received scratches in the struggle and was treated at the scene.

The Washington Township Police chief said he stands by the police report, but made no further comment.

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