LORAIN, Ohio – An Ohio police patrolman has been fired following an internal investigation into a traffic stop involving the boyfriend of the officer’s daughter.
Investigators say the traffic stop was an “abuse of power.”
Video of the incident shows the officer open the car door and tell the driver, “You’re going to jail.”
The driver asks him, “For what?”
“Have a seat in my car,” the officer says. “We’ll make (BEEP) up as we go.”
It happened April 16, when Lorain police patrolman John Kovach initiated a traffic stop that investigators concluded was purely personal.
The driver Kovach had pulled over was his daughter’s boyfriend and Kovach later told investigators he didn’t approve of the relationship.
Lorain police said the 26-year veteran of the force had traced his daughter’s computer to a friend’s home in the neighborhood and when he threatened to give the friend, who was a passenger in the car, a ticket for not wearing her seat belt, the girl’s mother confronted Kovach and said she was going to call 911.
Meanwhile, dispatchers were trying to send Kovach to a road rage incident but he did not respond to the call.
Investigators said Kovach did not initially realize that his daughter was a backseat passenger in the car he pulled over, and when he figured it out, he ordered her out of the car.
It is then that Kovach’s daughter confronted him about using his badge and uniform to intimidate her and her boyfriend and to separate them.
“You can’t take me,” she says in the video. “I am 18.”
Kovach can be seen ordering the driver out of his patrol car, telling him “goodbye,” as he ushers his daughter into the backseat.
“You have to give me a reason, by law,” his daughter says. “Daddy, why are pushing me? Why are you (BLEEP) pushing me? Why are you doing this?”
The investigation also found that Kovach lied to his supervisors about the incident. He is appealing his termination.