NewsLocal NewsSummit County


Prosecutor rules use of deadly force by Stow officer was justified

Posted at 3:43 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 15:43:31-05

A Stow officer who shot and killed a man in a parking lot behind Haven of Rest Ministries in September of last year was found to be justified in his use of force.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2017, Officer Robert Molody shot and killed William Porubsky, 30, after an altercation outside an Akron homeless shelter.

Stow police were called to the area of Meadowbrook Boulevard when a homeowner said a man jumped a locked fence and was banging on the door and acting strange. Officer Molody found Porubsky, who matched the description from the homeowner.

Officer Molody offered to take Porubsky to a homeless shelter in Akron.

When they arrived at the shelter, Porubsky swiped at Officer Molody and tried to knock his taser out of his hand. Officer Molody deployed his taser and hit Porubsky. However, this had no effect and Porubsky charged at Officer Molody, knocking him to the ground.

Body camera video released in deadly Stow officer-involved shooting

After a struggle, Officer Molody fired two shots. Porubsky was shot in the chest and died as a result.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Wash said she believes Officer Melody's use of force was justified based on body camera evidence and the fact that he honestly believed Porubsky presented a danger. Prosecutor Walsh also said that, upon recounting what happened, Officer Melody's recollection and perception of the encounter match very closely with what is seen on the body camera.

Her decision was also made with the knowledge that officers are often put in situations in which they have to make split-second decisions. She said it was clear Officer Melody had already been attacked, and he had no way of knowing what Porubsky was willing or capable of doing. Prosecutor Walsh said a reasonable officer would be able to determine that a significant use of force would be necessary to prevent further harm to himself, specifically by firing his weapon in this case.