MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt sentenced an Arcanum man to four years in prison for assaulting a West Milton police officer who came to his aid after he wrecked his motorcycle.
Christopher Paul, 29, of Arcanum, was sentenced on one amended count of second-degree felony assault of a police officer. Paul is eligible for good time credit if he participates in prison programs. Upon his release, Paul will serve three years mandatory post-release control.
“You clearly have a pattern of violence and alcohol abuse,” Judge Pratt told Paul after reviewing his record. Paul’s record included three underage consumption charges, drug possession, assault, criminal mischief, public intoxication, criminal trespass and three disorderly conduct charges. It was his first felony conviction.
Judge Pratt said Paul brutally attacked the officer as he was trying to help Paul following his motorcycle accident outside of the West Milton jurisdiction.
“They don’t deserve this type of conduct. They were just doing their job,” she said. “Anyone who assaults a law enforcement office in Miami County goes to prison.”
Paul appeared in court with attorney Robert Huffman Jr. On Paul’s behalf, Huffman said his client “made the biggest mistake of his life” and accepted responsibility for his actions.
Paul apologized for his actions and to the officer who was hurt in the altercation as the officer came to Paul’s aid during his accident on May 5.
“I take full responsibility for what I’ve done,” Paul told the court.
Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Watkins said the officer was trying to help Paul after his crashed his motorcycle on State Route 571. As the officer approached Paul, Paul swatted his flash light away from his hand and wrestled with the officer across the state route before falling on the side of the road. The officer broke a toe and hit his head during the altercation and missed 25 days of work due to the incident.
Watkins read portions of the officer’s victim impact statement, which stated he forgave Paul for his actions, “however, there’s a difference between forgiveness and consequences.”
Paul received four days of jail time credit. No fine was imposed.