Suspended Cleveland police officer a "serial abuser of women," per prosecutors seeking $100K bond
By James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- City police officer David Anderson had three prior incidents of domestic violence before he was indicted last month on charges of menacing by stalking, aggravated menacing and domestic violence, according to court documents.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors on Monday filed an eight-page motion asking a judge to raise Anderson's bond to $100,000 to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the charges and his three previous violent episodes with women.
Anderson is scheduled to be arraigned on the latest charges on Thursday in Common Pleas Court, at which time a new bond will be set, he will be asked to enter a plea, and a judge will be assigned to the case.
Anderson, 51, a city police officer since 2007, is free on a $10,000 bond posted by Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association president Jeffrey Follmer. He was released from jail Dec. 16 -- the day after his arrest.
Anderson, a Second District patrol officer, is suspended without pay pending the outcome of his case. His lawyer Henry Hilow said he would plead not guilty to the charges at the hearing. He decried the prosecutors' motion.
"Officer Anderson is a good public servant and an outstanding police officer," Hilow said. "He is ready to vigorously defend himself against these charges. The request for a $100,000 bond for a fourth-degree felony is ridiculous."
According to the prosecutors' motion, Anderson already has violated a no-contact order with the victim, his 43-year-old live-in girlfriend, who told police that Anderson called her after his arrest.
"The state is extremely concerned that Anderson will do so again," the motion reads, "and that the mere possibility of any further contact between Anderson and the victim poses an unjustifiable risk that he will harm her."
According to the motion, Anderson attacked his girlfriend three times on consecutive days, beginning Dec. 13, when he shoved her to the ground, causing her head to strike the pavement and knocking her unconscious.
The next day, Anderson again shoved the woman to the ground outside their home on South Hills Avenue in Cleveland. The following day, he kicked in her bedroom door, chased her down the stairs and shoved her to the landing, where her head was bloodied, the motion said.
In 2010, North Royalton police arrested Anderson after he threatened a different girlfriend, knocked out drywall in her home, broke dishes and slashed the tires on her car, the motion said. Anderson later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.
In 2009, the girlfriend's daughter called police to report that Anderson was on top of her mother and threatening to punch her. But the girlfriend declined to press charges.
In 2005, Cleveland police arrested Anderson after the same woman accused him of threatening to snap her neck. He later called her from jail and told her, "If I could have, I would have snapped your neck. You better fix this," according to the motion. City prosecutors declined to charge Anderson then.
County prosecutors contend that police officers must be held to a higher legal standard than the public, and that Anderson's violent crimes damage the trust essential for officers to properly perform their duty to protect and uphold the laws.
"When a bad officer breaks the law, he makes the job of every good officer less safe," the motion said.
"Because of that heightened legal standard, this court should set bond at a level that is above and beyond what this court would normally set for a serial abuser of women with a history of threats and violence, who has already violated the no-contact order against him," the motion concludes.
The prosecutors said a larger bond is also necessary because Anderson faces the likelihood of a prison sentence, if convicted, providing him a "significant incentive to flee."