K-9 officer put on leave after police dog attacks surrendering suspect

'It's an unfortunate situation,' the mayor of Circleville, Ohio, said.

ByBill Hutchinson and Alex Presha ABCNews logo
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Police K-9 attacks unarmed man
Highway patrol released disturbing bodycam footage of a police dog appearing to attack an unarmed man after he had surrendered following a high-speed chase.

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio -- An Ohio K-9 officer has been put on administrative leave, and his dog placed in a kennel, following an incident this month in which the animal was captured on body-camera footage attacking a truck driver as he was surrendering to state troopers with his hands up following a highway chase, an official told ABC News on Monday.

Circleville, Ohio, K-9 Officer Ryan Speakman was placed on leave as the city's five-member Use of Force Review Board investigates the circumstances of the incident that occurred on the Fourth of July on a highway outside Columbus, Circleville Mayor Donald McIlroy told ABC News.

"It's an unfortunate situation and we look to get it resolved very, very soon," McIlroy said.

McIlroy said he had viewed parts of the body-camera footage released by the Ohio State Highway Police that captured the police dog mauling the truck driver, 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose of Memphis, Tennessee.

"We have a use of force review board that is looking at it," McIlroy said. "Once that is completed and I get it, then I will be making some decisions on when we release that report to the media."

McIlroy said Speakman has been on paid administrative leave since at least Thursday, but could not say for sure when his leave started.

He said the dog involved in the arrest of Rose has been put in a kennel while the investigation unfolds.

Rose was treated at a hospital following the K-9 attack and released into the custody of the state Highway Police. He was booked at the Ross County Jail on charges of failure to comply, a fourth-degree felony, according to the highway police.

A 911 call Rose made during the chase could shed some light on why he refused to pull over when troopers initially attempted to stop him.

"Right now, I have police officers following me for a long time and I am trying to figure out why they have their guns pulled out," Rose said in the 911 call released by Ross County, Ohio, authorities. "I am just a truck driver. I was about to comply with them, but they all had their guns drawn out. There are like 20 police cars behind me. And I don't feel safe."

According to online records, Rose has been released from the Ross County Jail. It is unclear if he has hired an attorney.

Efforts by ABC News to reach Rose and Speakman for comment were unsuccessful.

McIlroy said he expects his city's Use of Force Review Board, which is comprised of community members, to complete its report by the end of this week or next Monday.

"This is the first time anything like this has happened. So, it's new to us and this is why we have this review board," McIlroy said. "And once that review board is finished, we'll make some determinations where we'll go forward."

Asked if he is aware of any disciplinary action taken against Speakman in the past, McIlroy said, "Yes." When asked to provide details, he said, "That's in his file" and directed ABC News to the city's human resources department to file a public records request.

McIlroy said he is not sure if Speakman was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, but added that if so, he would be open to releasing that footage to the public.

The incident unfolded in Ross County, Ohio, at about 9:30 a.m. on July 4, according to a police incident report. Troopers from the state Highway Police Department's Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector unit attempted to pull Rose over for what they described as an alleged traffic defect violation, according to the incident report.

Rose allegedly refused to pull over and led troopers on a chase through three counties before police put stop sticks, or spike strips, in the roadway ahead of the chase and blew out Rose's tires, forcing him to stop on U.S. Route 23 in Pickaway County and surrender to troopers, according to the report.

The body-camera video released by the state Highway Police shows the Circleville police dog arriving at the scene and initially being held back by Speakman as troopers yelled to Rose, "Get on the ground or you're going to get bit."

The footage shows Rose complying with orders to get on his knees with both hands in the air. A police trooper can be heard in the video repeatedly yelling, "Do not release the dog with his hands up."

The dog, however, was apparently let loose and attacked Rose, grabbing his arm as he screamed, "Get it off," and appeared to be in pain.

Other officers, including the dog's handler, rushed to Rose as he was being attacked in the grassy center median and pulled the animal off Rose, according to the video.

It is not clear in the footage why the dog was deployed to attack Rose.

Speakman, 29, was sworn in as a Circleville Police Department officer in February 2020, according to an article in the Circleville Herald. Prior to joining the Circleville police force, Speakman was a deputy for the Ross County Sheriff's Office, according to the article.

"There are people out there that can't defend themselves and there's people out there that just need a friend," Speakman told the newspaper at the time. "It may be just as simple as a handshake or a hug. It's not about writing tickets or arresting people. It's about doing police work and serving the community to build it up and reaching out to the people."

In February 2022, Speakman was featured in an article in The Scioto Post newspaper in Circleville, introducing the city's two newest police dogs, a Belgian Malinois Shepherd named "Serg" and a German Shepherd named "Dex." But it is unclear if either dog was the one who attacked Rose.

The union representing the Circleville police officers told WSYX that it is asking "everyone reserve judgment" and declined further comment.