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Lorain Police officer charged with driving under influence

Troopers say officer crashed pickup truck
Lorain Officer Charged
Ohio State Highway Patrol Report
Posted at 3:55 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 18:54:41-04

WELLINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A Lorain Police officer is on modified assignment while several investigations are underway surrounding an off-duty crash on February 26.

Patrol Officer James Connell is accused of driving under the influence with a child inside when his pickup truck veered into a ditch along Peck-Wadsworth Road in Wellington Township.

Connell faces charges including operating a vehicle under the influence, doing so without reasonable control, endangering a child, and a child not wearing a seatbelt.

A report filed by Ohio State Highway Patrol details how Connell’s truck veered off the road into a ditch and rolled on its side at around 6:30 p.m. on February 26.

“Yes, there’s a vehicle flipped over on Peck-Wadsworth road,” a 911 caller described.

Afterwards, troopers described their interactions with Connell, who they said appeared to be intoxicated with “bloodshot and glassy” eyes.

In a conversation with troopers, Connell appears to admit drinking earlier in the day before he refuses to answer any further questions.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Report
A report from Ohio State Highway Patrol details their interaction with James Connell following a crash in Wellington Township on February 26.

This is not the first time Connell has appeared on the other side of the law. Online court paperwork shows a 2017 conviction to a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct details how Connell was required to attend drug and alcohol treatment.

Lorain Police chief Jim McCann told News 5 that officer Connell is on “modified assignment” while the office of professional standards investigates, separate from any criminal case.

Court paperwork shows Officer James Connell pleaded not guilty to these latest charges and is due back in court on April 7.

In December, Connell was congratulated by the department for placing in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission-Wrestling tournament in Cleveland.

"It’s great to have skilled officers teaching the PD to be judicious and effective in restraining violent people," the department said in a Facebook post at the time.