Hamilton County sheriff’s Sgt. Jesse Franklin faces an assault charge after officials say he kicked a jail inmate in the head after the man bit his boot.

Cincinnati Enquirer

CINCINNATI — An Ohio sheriff’s deputy faces an assault charge after officials say he kicked a jail inmate in the head after the man bit his boot.

Sgt. Jesse Franklin is charged with one count of misdemeanor assault, which is punishable by up to six months in jail.

Franklin has worked for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years. 

The inmate, Nick Ballachino, was taken to the jail by Cincinnati police June 9 after being arrested on charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing police.

Ballachino became combative with corrections officers who were trying to process him after he arrived at the jail, according to a news release from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

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Several officers quickly subdued Ballachino. He was handcuffed and face down on the floor when, according to Deters, he bit Franklin’s left work boot.

“Video from the Justice Center shows Franklin immediately kicking Ballachino one time in the head,” Deters said in the new release.

Ballachino sustained a cut above his left eye that required five stitches. Deters said the injury was not serious enough for a felony assault charge. Both men are white.

“Not everyone has the temperament to be a police officer,” Deters said. “In this case, and as I have throughout my career, when I see criminal violations, I will pursue them according to the law.”

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Franklin has been suspended without pay and his police powers have been stripped, Sheriff Jim Neil said at a press conference Thursday.

Franklin was arrested Thursday and booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center, the same location where the incident occurred.

Neil said he ordered a criminal investigation as soon as he became aware of what happened.

”I am outraged and shocked by this egregious conduct,” Neil said. “These actions are inconsistent with our training and will not be tolerated under my watch.”

Neil said a disciplinary process must be followed due to a collective bargaining agreement between deputies and the county.

The sheriff would not comment further about the investigation because he does not want to jeopardize it, he said.

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