Former Cleveland officer accused of beating, raping girlfriend on the run after breaking GPS monitor

Officer accused of rape broke ankle monitor
Posted at 9:59 PM, Oct 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 18:44:31-04

A former Cleveland police officer charged with rape, kidnapping and felonious assault for allegedly beating and sexually assaulting his girlfriend is on the run after breaking his GPS ankle monitor.

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The U.S. Marshals and the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is currently looking for Tommie Griffin III. An escape warrant has been issued and a reward is being offered for any information that would lead to the capture of Griffin. He is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who has information is asked to call 866-4-WANTED. 

"We consider anyone who escapes, dangerous. At the end of the day if they escape they don't want to go to prison," said U.S.Marshal Pete Elliott.

Elliott also encouraged Griffin to turn himself in to the U.S. Marshals. 

His last known residence was in the 9700 block of Pleasant Lake Boulevard in Parma.

Griffin was arrested in January after his girlfriend said he entered her bedroom, attacked her, sexually assaulted her and fired two shots next to her. She also said he pointed the gun at her and struck her several times on her face with his hands and the gun. She was treated at a hospital for her injuries.

That was just hours after service logs indicate Griffin called Parma police, agitated about another man at his "ex-girlfriend's" house.

RELATED: Cleveland officer accused of beating, sexually assaulting girlfriend personnel files released

Police said they arrested Griffin without incident at a business in North Royalton. Police sources tell News 5 dozens of guns were removed from his home at the time.

He was charged with rape, kidnapping, felonious assault, domestic violence, tampering with evidence, possessing criminal tools, pandering obscenity and telecommunications harassment. At the time, his bond was set at $250,000. 

According to electronic court records, Griffin’s bond was reduced on March 6 to $200,000 after a motion was granted by Judge Maureen Clancy. He posted bond on March 8 and was released from jail on March 10.

The motion argued that since Griffin has extensive family ties to Northeast Ohio, he was employed with the Cleveland Police Department, he has limited financial resources and his mental condition is sound, he was not a flight risk. 

He resigned from his position with the Cleveland Police Department the same day the motion was granted — on Feb. 27. He was on unpaid leave from the time he was arrested until his resignation.

The prosecutor's office argued in its motion of opposition that, due to the seriousness of Griffin's conduct and the allegation that he fired a duty-issued pistol at the victim several times while in uniform, he should not be given a reduced bond. 

As part of his bond, Griffin was required to wear a GPS monitoring device and not allowed to contact the victim. He was only permitted to leave his home for court appearances, probation appointments and verified medical appointments and was ordered to report weekly to the probation department to submit to drug and alcohol testing.

Griffin was booked back in jail on March 27 for violating the terms of his bond. According to the prosecutor's office, he tested positive for alcohol. 

He was released again on April 27 — this time with an additional monitor used for tracking alcohol. 

When News 5 reached out to Judge Maureen Clancy for comment, she said she could not comment on an ongoing case. 

Griffin was hired by Cleveland police on Feb. 1, 1994. His most recent assignment was in District One on basic patrol. 

Griffin's personnel file, obtained by News 5 in January, showed a history of abduction, assault and abusing sick leave. 

Griffin was caught in 2013 and 2016 misusing sick days. The first time, in 2013, he was issued a three-day suspension after the department found he had used 27 days of sick leave and used 10 days of sick leave in connection with vacation days. 

When Griffin was told by a superior officer to report to the medical unit, he failed to do so on two separate occasions and his behavior was described in the report as "disrespectful and insubordinate." 

His next offense with sick leave was in 2016 when he used 100 hours of sick leave without proper documentation to the medical unit. He also failed to go to the medical unit and went AWOL. The department said he was insubordinate to a superior officer and imposed a six-day suspension as well as placing him on step one of the Sick Leave Abuse Program. 

Griffin was suspended in 2011 for an incident in October 2009 when a female friend of Griffin's accused him of restraining and assaulting her at his home in 2009. He later pleaded guilty to the amended charge of criminal mischief. At that time he was suspended for two 10-hour workdays. 

Griffin's trial was set to begin Oct. 30.