State trooper pleads not guilty to OVI charge - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -


State trooper pleads not guilty to OVI charge

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AUSTINTOWN TWP., Ohio - An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper pleaded not guilty to an OVI charge in court Wednesday morning after being found sleeping in a running vehicle Monday night in Austintown. 

Jason Fantone, 36, with the patrol's Warren post, was not in court Wednesday; instead, the trooper sent a letter to the judge pleading not guilty and waiving his right to a speedy trial.

Fantone was asked to leave Buffalo Wild Wings in Austintown Monday night shortly before 6:30 for becoming highly intoxicated, according to a police report. Police found Fantone sleeping in his vehicle while it was running. After repeated tries to wake the trooper up, Fantone exited the vehicle, at which point he refused a sobriety test. According to the report, Fantone then swung his arms around and asked to be arrested.

During booking, Fantone reportedly made sarcastic and rude remarks about the Austintown Police Department and was verbally confrontational with officers.

He was cited for operating a vehicle under the influence and had his vehicle towed. A police officer drove Fantone back to his residence.

Lt. Ann Ralston with OSP said that they are aware of the incident and has placed Fantone on administrative duties, which means he will still report to work but is not allowed to work out in the field.

Ralston said that they are conducting an administrative investigation alongside a criminal investigation conducted by Austintown police; if disciplinary action is decided to be taken, Fantone could face termination.

Fantone had been reinstated last year after being fired in 2011 for conduct unbecoming an officer after becoming belligerent with stadium security at a Cleveland Browns game and damaging a holding cell.

Stay connected with and 21 News for more on this developing story


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