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Former deputy pleads to assault charge


Trish Bennett, Editor

Erick E. Eberhard resigned from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office on May 24. (File photo)

CIRCLEVILLE – The Pickaway County Sheriff’s deputy charged in a domestic violence incident last month pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor count of assault in the case.

Erick E. Eberhard, 35, was sentenced on the first-degree misdemeanor charge to 180 days in county jail (suspended) and a $1,000 fine (with $750 suspended) plus court costs. He also must serve two years of non-reporting probation, according to documents from the Circleville Municipal Court.

Eberhard was placed on paid administrative leave following the incident that occurred at his home on May 17. He resigned his position with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office on May 24, according to Sheriff Robert Radcliff.

Eberhard was arrested at his home in Pickaway Township May 17 after deputies responded to a call about a domestic disturbance at the residence. He was found to be in a conflict with a family member and subsequently with the deputies who responded to the call.

At the time of the incident, Radcliff said Eberhard had to be subdued at the scene and was transported by the Pickaway Township squad to Adena Medical Center in Chillicothe for evaluation.

He said Eberhard remained at the hospital overnight, then was booked at the county jail and faced the charges in Circleville Municipal Court through his attorney the following day. He was released on a recognizance bond pending further action in the case.

He was originally charged with one count of domestic violence, one count of assault, two counts of assault on a peace officer and one count of resisting arrest.

Eberhard joined the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office in 2000 and was assigned as a canine handler for Turpin, a Belgian Malinois, in June of 2012. He earned the rank of corporal in February of 2014.

Radcliff said it was a difficult and unfortunate situation, but his officers handled it with professionalism from beginning to end.

“We can praise him for his years of service to the citizens of Pickaway County and for the officer he was, but we can’t treat our personnel any differently than we would treat the public,” Radcliff said. “When you violate the law, you have to pay the penalty, and this was handled right down the line.”

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal