PEVELY, Mo. — Two Pevely police officers have been fired and one is now facing an assault charge for choking an inmate.
Officer Robert "Ryan" Watson and Officer Wayne Casey were let go from the police force Wednesday. Watson had been with the Pevely Police Department for nearly three years and Casey for around one year.
Watson was fired after he was charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The department did not say why Watson was fired.
In April, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received a request from the Pevely Police Department to investigate an alleged assault. The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney said an investigation found Watson choked and shoved a suspect who had verbally insulted him during the booking process at the Pevely Police Department.
Surveillance video first shows Watson standing behind a desk at the Pevely Police department's booking area, interacting with inmate Ryan Bossum, who was sitting on the other side. Watson then got up, walked around the desk and choked Bossum from behind. The video ended with Watson dragging the man across the floor, shoving him into a jail cell and slamming the door.
Court documents state that Watson admitted to the assault, but believed his actions were justified due to Bossum not following his commands.
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Trisha Stefanski said she did not believe the suspect was handcuffed at the time.
She said Watson was only charged with a misdemeanor because they couldn’t prove bodily injury and the victim didn’t seek medical attention after the alleged assault.
This is not the first issue with the Pevely Police Department in recent months.
The Pevely police chief resigned in March, months after allegations of violence were raised against him.
In January, the I-Team reported on an alleged Nov. 17 incident between then-Police Chief Charles "Tony" Moutray and his wife. In the police report filed in Jefferson County, Moutray's wife said she was flipped off a bed and dragged by her hair after an argument over infidelity and his cell phone.
No replacement has been announced after his resignation.